Skip to main content
Internet Archive's 25th Anniversary Logo

Full text of "Woman Under Socialism"

See other formats


AUGUST BEBEL 



Woman Under Socialism 

By 

AUGUST BEBEL 

Translated from the Original 
German of the 33d Edition 

By 

DANIEL DE LEON 



1904 

New York Labor News Company 

New York 



KeWlg!) Ji^HllI r'ui/iiLotiuiu 




"The end of social development resembles the beginning of human 
existence. The original equality returns. The mother-web of 
existence starts and rounds up the cycle of human 
affairs ."— Bachofen. 

"Since the advent of civilization, the outgrowth of property has 
been so immense, its forms so diversified, its uses so expanding 
and its management so intelligent in the interests of its owners, 
that it has become, on the part of the people, an unmanageable 
power. The human mind stands bewildered in the presence of its own 
creation. The time will come, nevertheless, when human intelligence 
will rise to the mastery over property, and define the relations of 
the state to the property it protects, as well as the obligations 
and the limits of the rights of its owners. The interests of 
society are paramount to individual interests, and the two must be 
brought into just and harmonious relations. A mere property career 
is not the final destiny of mankind, if progress is to be the law 
of the future as it has been of the past. The time which has passed 
away since civilization began is but a fragment of the past 
duration of man's existence; and but a fragment of the ages yet to 
come. The dissolution of society bids fair to become the 
termination of a career of which property is the end and aim; 
because such a career contains the elements of 
self-destruction."— Morgan. 



TRANSLATOR'S PREFACE. 

Bebel's work, "Die Frau mid der Socialismus," rendered in this English 
version with the title "Woman under Socialism," is the best-aimed shot 
at the existing social system, both strategically and tactically 
considered. It is wise tactics and strategy to attack an enemy on his 
weakest side. The Woman Question is the weakest link in the capitalist 
mail. 

The workingman, we know, is a defenceless being; but it takes much 
sharpening of the intellect to appreciate the fact that "he cannot speak 
for himself." His sex is popularly coupled with the sense of strength. 
The illusion conceals his feebleness, and deprives him of help, often of 
sympathy. It is thus even with regard to the child. Proverbially w r eak 
and needing support, the child, nevertheless, is not everywhere a victim 
in the existing social order. Only in remote sense does the child of the 
ruling class suffer. The invocation of the "Rights of the Child" leaves 
substantially untouched the children of the rich. It is otherwise with 
woman. The shot that rips up the wrongs done to her touches a nerve that 
aches from end to end in the capitalist w r orld. There is no woman, 
whatever her station, but in one way or other is a sufferer, a victim in 
modern society. While upon the woman of the working class the cross of 
capitalist society rests heaviest in all w r ays, not one of her sisters in 
all the upper ranks but bears some share of the burden, or, to be 
plainer, of the smudge,— and what is more to the point, they are aw r are 
of it. Accordingly, the invocation of the "Rights of Woman" not only 
rouses the spirit of the heaviest sufferers under capitalist society, 
and thereby adds swing to the blow r s of the male militants in their 
efforts to overthrow^ the existing order, it also lames the adversary by 
raising sympathizers in his own camp, and inciting sedition among his 
own retinue. Bebel's exhaustive w r ork, here put in English garb, does 
this double w r ork unerringly. 

I might stop here. The ethic formula commands self-effacement to a 
translator. More so than w r ell-brought-up children, wiio should be "seen 
and not heard," a translator should, wiiere at all possible, be neither 
seen nor heard. That, however, is not ahvays possible. In a work of this 
nature, which, to the extent of this one, projects itself into 
hypotheses of the future, and even whose premises necessarily branch off 
into fields that are not essentially basic to Socialism, much that is 
said is, as the author himself announces in his introduction, purely the 
personal opinion of the writer. With these a translator, however, much 
in general and fundamental accord, may not ahvays agree. Not agreeing, 
he is in duty bound to modify the ethic formula to the extent of marking 
his exception, lest the general accord, implied in the act of 
translating, be construed into specific approval of objected-to passages 
and view r s. Mindful of a translator's duties as w r ell as rights, I have 



reduced to a small number, and entered in the shape of running footnotes 
to the text, the dissent I thought necessary to the passages that to me 
seemed most objectionable in matters not related to the main question; 
and, as to matters related to the main question, rather than enter 
dissent in running footnotes, I have reserved for this place a summary 
of my own private views on the family of the future. 

It is an error to imagine that, in its spiral course, society ever 
returns to where it started from. The spiral never returns upon its own 
track. Obedient to the law of social evolution, the race often is 
forced, in the course of its onward march, to drop much that is good, 
but also much that is bad. The bad, it is hoped, is dropped for all 
time; but the good, when picked up again, never is picked up as 
originally chopped. Between the original dropping and return to its 
vicinity along the tracks of the spiral, fresh elements join. These new 
accretions so transmute whatever is re-picked up that it is essentially 
remodeled. The "Communism," for instance, that the race is now heading 
toward, is, materially, a different article from the "Communism" it once 
left behind. We move in an upward spiral. No doubt moral concepts are 
the reflex of material possibilities. But, for one thing, moral concepts 
are in themselves a powerful force, often hard to distinguish in their 
effect from material ones; and, for another, these material 
possibilities unfold material facts, secrets of nature, that go to 
enrich the treasury of science, and quicken the moral sense. Of such 
material facts are the discoveries in embryology and kindled branches. 
They reveal the grave fact, previously reckoned with in the matter of 
the breeding of domestic animals, that the act of impregnation is an act 
of inoculation. This fact, absolutely material, furnishes a 
post-discovered material basis for a pre-surmised moral concept,— the 
"oneness of flesh" with father and mother. Thus science solidifies a 
poetic-moral yearning, once held imprisoned in the benumbing shell of 
theological dogma, and reflects its morality in the poetic expression of 
the monogamic family. The moral, as well as the material, accretions of 
the race's intellect, since it uncoiled out of early Communism, bar, to 
my mind, all prospect,— I would say danger, moral and hygienic,— of 
promiscuity, or of anything even remotely approaching that. 

Modern society is in a state of decomposition. Institutions, long held 
as of all time and for all time, are crumbling. No wonder those bodies 
of society that come floating down to us with the prerogatives of 
"teacher" are seen to-day rushing to opposite extremes. On the matter of 
"Woman" or "The Family" the divergence among our rulers is most marked. 
While both extremes cling like shipwrecked mariners to the water-logged 
theory of private ownership in the means of production, the one extreme, 
represented by the Roman Catholic church-machine, is seen to recede ever 
further back within the shell of orthodoxy, and the other extreme, 
represented by the pseudo-Darwinians, is seen to fly into ever wilder 



flights of heterodoxy on the matter of "Marriage and Divorce." Agreed, 
both, in keeping woman nailed to the cross of a now perverse social 
system, the former seeks to assuage her agony with the benumbing balm of 
resignation, the latter to relieve her torture with the blister of 
libertinage. 

Between these two extremes stand the gathering forces of revolution that 
are taking shape in the militant Socialist Movement. Opinion among these 
forces, while it cannot be said to clash, takes on a variety of 
shades— as needs will happen among men, who, at one on basic principles, 
on the material substructure of institutional superstructure, cannot 
but yield to the allurements of speculative thought on matters as yet 
hidden in the future, and below the horizon. For one, I hold there is as 
little ground for rejecting monogamy, by reason of the taint that clings 
to its inception, as there would be ground for rejecting co-operation, 
by reason of the like taint that accompanied its rise, and also clings 
to its development. For one, I hold that the smut of capitalist 
conditions, that to-day clings to monogamy, is as avoidable an 
"incident" in the evolutionary process as are the iniquities of 
capitalism that to-day are found the accompaniment of co-operative 
labor;— and the further the parallel is pursued through the many 
ramifications of the subject, the closer will it be discovered to hold. 
For one, I hold that the monogamous family— bruised and wounded in the 
cruel rough-and-tumble of modern society, where, with few favored 
exceptions of highest type, male creation is held down, physically, 
mentally and morally, to the brutalizing level of the brute, forced to 
grub and grub for bare existence, or, which amounts to the same, to 
scheme and scheme in order to avoid being forced so to grub and 
grub— will have its wounds staunched, its bruises healed, and, ennobled 
by the slowly acquired moral forces of conjugal, paternal and filial 
affection, bloom under Socialism into a lever of mighty power for the 
moral and physical elevation of the race. 

At any rate, however the genius of our descendants may shape matters on 

this head, one thing is certain: Woman— the race's mothers, wives, 

sisters, daughters— long sinned against through unnumbered 

generations— is about to be atoned to. All the moral and intellectual 

forces of the age are seen obviously converging to that point. It will 

be the crowning w r ork of Militant Socialism, like a mightier Perseus, to 

strike the shackles from the chained Andromeda of modern society, Woman, 

and raise her to the dignity of her sex. 

DANIEL DE LEON. 
New York, June 21, 1903. 



INDEX 

TRANSLATOR'S PREFACE 

INTRODUCTION 

WOMAN IN THE PAST- 
Chapter I— Before Christianity 
Chapter II— Under Christianity 

WOMAN IN THE PRESENT- 
Chapter I— Sexual Instinct, Wedlock, Checks and Obstructions 

to Marriage 
Chapter II— Further Checks and Obstructions to Marriage, Numerical 

Proportion of the Sexes, Its Causes and Effects 
Chapter III— Prostitution a Necessaiy Social Institution of 

the Capitalist World 
Chapter IV— Woman's Position as a Breadwinner, Her Intellectual 

Faculties, Darwinism and the Condition of Society 
Chapter V— Woman's Civic and Political Status 
Chapter VI— The State and Society 
Chapter VII— The Socialization of Society 

WOMAN IN THE FUTURE 

INTERNATIONALITY 

POPULATION AND OVER-POPULATION 

CONCLUSION 



INTRODUCTION. 

We live in the age of a great social Revolution, that every day makes 
further progress. A glowingly powerful intellectual stir and unrest is 
noticeable in all the layers of society; and the movement pushes towards 
deep-reaching changes. All feel that the ground they stand on shakes. A 
number of questions have risen; they occupy the attention of ever 
widening circles; and discussion runs high on their solution. One of the 
most important of these, one that pushes itself ever more to the fore, 
is the so-called "Woman Question." 

The question concerns the position that woman should occupy in our 
social organism; how she may unfold her powers and faculties in all 
directions, to the end that she become a complete and useful member of 
human society, enjoying equal rights with all. From our view-point, this 
question coincides with that other:— what shape and organization human 
society must assume to the end that, in the place of oppression, 
exploitation, want and misery in manifold forms, there shall be physical 
and social health on the part of the individual and of society. To us, 
accordingly, the Woman Question is only one of the aspects of the 
general Social Question, which is now filling all heads, which is 
setting all minds in motion and which, consequently, can find its final 
solution only in the abolition of the existing social contradictions, 
and of the evils which flow from them. 

Nevertheless, it is necessary to treat the so-called Woman Question 
separately. On the one hand the question, What was the former position 
of woman, what is it to-day, and what will it be in the future? 
concerns, in Europe at least, the larger section of society, seeing that 
here the female sex constitutes the larger part of the population. On 
the other hand, the prevailing notions, regarding the development that 
woman has undergone in the course of centuries, correspond so little 
with the facts, that light upon the subject becomes a necessity for the 
understanding of the present and of the future. Indeed, a good part of 
the prejudices with which the ever-growing movement is looked upon in 
various circles— and not least in the circle of woman herself— rests 
upon lack of knowledge and lack of understanding. Many are heard 
claiming there is no Woman Question, because the position that woman 
formerly occupied, occupies to-day and will in the future continue to 
occupy, is determined by her "natural calling," which destines her for 
wife and mother, and limits her to the sphere of the home. Accordingly, 
whatever lies beyond her four walls, or is not closely and obviously 
connected with her household duties, concerns her not. 

On the Woman Question, the same as on the general Social Question, in 
which the position of the working class in society plays the chief role, 
opposing parties stand arrayed against each other. One party, that which 

8 



would leave everything as it is, have their answer ready at hand; they 
imagine the matter is settled with referring woman to her "natural 
calling." They forget that, to-day, for reasons later to be developed, 
millions of women are wholly unable to fill that "natural calling," so 
much insisted upon in their behalf, of householders, breeders and nurses 
of children; and that, with other millions, the "calling" has suffered 
extensive shipwreck— wedlock, to them, having turned into a yoke and 
into slavery, compelling them to drag along their lives in misery and 
want. Of course, this fact concerns those "wise men" as little as that 
other fact, that unnumbered millions of women, engaged in the several 
pursuits of life, are compelled, often in unnatural ways, and far beyond 
the measure of their strength, to wear themselves out in order to eke 
out a meager existence. At this unpleasant fact those "wise men" stuff 
their ears, and they shut their eyes with as much violence as they do 
before the misery of the working class, consoling themselves and others 
with "it has ever been, and will ever remain so." That woman has the 
right to share the conquests of civilization achieved in our days; to 
utilize these to the easing and improving of her condition; and to 
develop her mental and physical faculties, and turn them to advantage as 
well as man,— they will none of that. Are they told that woman must also 
be economically, in order to be physically and intellectually free, to 
the end that she no longer depend upon the "good-will" and the "mercy" 
of the other sex?— forthwith their patience is at end; their anger is 
kindled; and there follows a torrent of violent charges against the 
"craziness of the times," and the "insane emancipational efforts." 

These are the Philistines of male and female sex, incapable of finding 
their way out of the narrow circle of their prejudices. It is the breed 
of the owls, to be found everywhere when day is breaking, and they cry 
out in affright when a ray of light falls upon their comfortable 
darkness. 

Another element among the adversaries of the movement cannot shut its 
eyes before the glaring facts. This element admits that there was hardly 
a time when a larger number of women found themselves in so 
unsatisfactory a condition as to-day, relatively to the degree of 
general civilization; and they admit that it is therefore necessary to 
inquire how the condition of woman can be improved, in so far as she 
remains dependent upon herself. To this portion of our adversaries, the 
Social Question seems solved for those women who have entered the haven 
of matrimony. 

In keeping with their views, this element demands that, to unmarried 
woman, at least, all fields of work, for which her strength and 
faculties are adequate, shall be opened, to the end that she may enter 
the competitive field for work with man. A small set goes even further, 
and demands that competition for work be not limited to the field of the 



lower occupations, but should also extend higher, to the professions, to 

the field of art and science. This set demands the admission of woman to 

all the higher institutions of learning, namely, the universities, which 

in many countries are still closed to her. Their admission is advocated 

to the classes of several branches of study, to the medical profession, 

to the civil service (the Post Office, telegraph and railroad offices), 

for which they consider women peculiarly adapted;, and they point to the 

practical results that have been attained, especially in the United 

states, through the employment of woman. The one and the other also make 

the demand that political rights be conferred upon woman. Woman, they 

admit, is human and a member of the state, as well as man: legislation, 

until now in the exclusive control of man, proves that he exploited the 

privilege to his own exclusive benefit, and kept woman in every respect 

under guardianship, a thing to be henceforth prevented. 

It is noteworthy that the efforts here roughly sketched, do not reach 
beyond the frame-work of the existing social order. The question never 
is put whether, these objects being attained, any real and thoroughgoing 
improvement in the condition of woman will have been achieved. Standing 
on the ground of bourgeois, that is, of the capitalist social order, the 
full social equality of man and woman is considered the solution of the 
question. These folks are not aware, or they slide over the fact that, 
in so far as the unrestricted admission of woman to the industrial 
occupations is concerned, the object has already been actually attained, 
and it meets with the strongest support on the part of the ruling class, 
who as will be shown further on, find therein their own interest. Under 
existing conditions, the admission of women to all industrial 
occupations can have for its only effect that the competitive struggle 
of the working people become ever sharper, and rage ever mere fiercely. 
Hence the inevitable result,— the lowering of incomes for female and 
male labor, whether this income be in the form of wage or salary. 

That this solution cannot be the right one is clear. The full civic 
equality of woman is, however, not merely the ultimate object of the 
men, who, planted upon the existing social order, favor the efforts in 
behalf of woman. It is also recognized by the female bourgeois, active 
in the Woman Movement. These, together with the males of their mental 
stamp, stand, accordingly, with their demands in contrast to the larger 
portion of the men, who oppose them, partly out of old-fogy narrowness, 
partly also— in so far as the admission of woman to the higher studies 
and the better-paid public positions is concerned— out of mean 
selfishness, out of fear of competition. A difference in principle, 
however, a class difference, such as there is between the working and 
the capitalist class, does not exist between these two sets of male and 
female citizens. 

Let the by no means impossible case be imagined that the representatives 

10 



of the movement for the chic rights of woman cany through all their 
demands for placing woman upon an equal footing with man. What then? 
Neither the slavery, which modern marriage amounts to for numberless 
women, nor prostitution, nor the material dependence of the large 
majority of married women upon their marital lords, would thereby be 
removed. For the large majority of women it is, indeed, immaterial 
whether a thousand, or ten thousand, members of their own sex, belonging 
to the more favored strata of society, land in the higher branches of 
learning, the practice of medicine, a scientific career, or some 
government office. Nothing is thereby changed in the total condition of 
the sex. 

The mass of the female sex suffers in two respects: On the one side 

woman suffers from economic and social dependence upon man. True enough, 

this dependence may be alleviated by formally placing her upon an 

equality before the law, and in point of rights; but the dependence is 

not removed. On the other side, woman suffers from the economic 

dependence that woman in general, the working-woman in particular, finds 

herself in, along with the workingman. 

Evidently, all women, without difference of social standing, have an 
interest— as the sex that in the course of social development has been 
oppressed, and ruled, and defiled by man— in removing such a state of 
things, and must exert themselves to change it, in so far as it can be 
changed by changes in the laws and institutions within the frame-work of 
the present social order. But the enormous majority of women are 
furthermore interested in the most lively manner in that the existing 
state and social order be radically transformed, to the end that both 
wage-slavery, under which the working-women deeply pine, and sex 
slavery, which is intimately connected with our property and industrial 
systems, be wiped out. 

The larger portion by far of the women in society, engaged in the 
movement for the emancipation of woman, do not see the necessity for 
such a radical change. Influenced by their privileged social standing, 
they see in the more far-reaching working-women's movement dangers, not 
infrequently abhorrent aims, which they feel constrained to ignore, 
eventually even to resist. The class-antagonism, that in the general 
social movement rages between the capitalist and the working class, and 
which, with the ripening of conditions, grows sharper and more 
pronounced, turns up likewise on the surface of the Woman's Movement; 
and it finds its corresponding expression in the aims and tactics of 
those engaged in it. 

All the same, the hostile sisters have, to a far greater extent than the 
male population— split up as the latter is in the class struggle— a 
number of points of contact, on which they can, although marching 

11 



separately, strike jointly. This happens on all the fields, on which the 
question is the equality of woman with man, within modern society. This 
embraces the participation of woman in all the fields of human activity, 
for which her strength and faculties are fit; and also her full civil 
and political equality with man. These are very important, and as will 
be shown further on, very extensive fields. Besides all this the working 
woman has also a special interest in doing battle hand in hand with the 
male portion of the working class, for all the means and institutions 
that may protect the working woman from physical and moral degeneration, 
and which promise to secure to her the vitality and fitness necessary 
for motherhood and for the education of children. Furthermore, as 
already indicated, it is the part of the working-woman to make common 
cause with the male members of her class and of her lot in the struggle 
for a radical transformation of society, looking to the establishment of 
such conditions as may make possible the real economic and spiritual 
independence of both sexes, by means of social institutions that afford 
to all a full share in the enjoyment of all the conquests of 
civilization made by mankind. 

The goal, accordingly, is not merely the realization of the equal rights 
of woman with man within present society, as is aimed at by the 
bourgeois woman emancipationists. It lies beyond,— the removal of all 
impediments that make man dependent upon man; and, consequently, one sex 
upon the other. Accordingly, this solution of the Woman Question 
coincides completely with the solution of the Social Question. It 
follows that he who aims at the solution of the Woman Question to its 
full extent, is necessarily bound to go hand in hand with those who have 
inscribed upon their banner the solution of the Social Question as a 
question of civilization for the whole human race. These are the 
Socialists, that is, the Social Democracy. 

Of all existing parties in Germany, the Social Democratic Party is the 
only one which has placed in its programme the full equality of woman, 
her emancipation from all dependence and oppression. And the party has 
done so, not for agitational reasons, but out of necessity, out of 
principle. There can be no emancipation of humanity without die social 
independence and equality of the sexes. 

Up to this point all Socialists are likely to agree with the 
presentation made of fundamental principles. But the same cannot be said 
on the subject of the manner in which we portray the ultimate aims to 
ourselves; how the measures and special institutions shall be shaped 
which will establish the aimed-at independence and equality of all 
members of the sexes, consequently that of man and woman also. 

The moment the field of the known is abandoned, and one launches out 
into pictures of future forms, a wide field is opened for speculation. 

12 



Differences of opinion start over that which is probable or not 
probable. That which in that direction is set forth in this book can, 
accordingly, be taken only as the personal opinion of the author 
himself; possible attacks must be directed against him only; only he is 
responsible. 

Attacks that are objective, and are honestly meant, will be welcome to 
us. Attacks that violate truth in the presentation of the contents of 
this book, or that rest upon false premises we shall ignore. For the 
rest, in the following pages all conclusions, even the extremest, will 
be drawn, which, the facts being verified, the results attained may 
warrant. Freedom from prejudice is the first condition for the 
recognition of truth. Only the unrestricted utterance of that which is, 
and must be, leads to the goal. 



13 



PARTI 

WOMAN IN THE PAST 



14 



CHAPTER I. 

BEFORE CHRISTIANITY. 

Woman and the workingman have, since old, had this in 
common— oppression. The forms of oppression have suffered changes in 
the course of time, and in various countries. But the oppression always 
remained. Many a time and oft, in the course of the ages, did the 
oppressed become conscious of their oppression; and such conscious 
knowledge of their condition did bring on changes and reliefs. 
Nevertheless, a knowledge, that grasped the actual feature of the 
oppression by grasping its causes, is, with woman as with the 
workingman, the fruit of our own days. The actual feature of society, 
and of the laws that lie at the bottom of its development, had first to 
be known, before a general movement could take place for the removal of 
conditions, recognized as oppressive and unjust. The breadth and 
intensity of such a movement depends, however, upon the measure of the 
understanding prevalent among the suffering social layers and circles, 
and upon the measure of freedom of motion that they enjoy. In both 
respects, woman stands, through custom and education, as well as the 
freedom allowed her by law, behind the workingman. To this, another 
circumstance is added. Conditions, lasting through a long series of 
generations, finally grow into custom; heredity and education then cause 
such conditions to appear on both sides as "natural." Hence it comes 
that, even to-day, woman in particular, accepts her subordinate position 
as a matter of course. It is no easy matter to make her understand that 
that position is unworthy, and that it is her duty to endeavor to become 
a member of society, equal-righted with, and in eveiy sense a peer of 
man. 

However much in common woman may be shown to have with the workingman, 
she leads him in one thing:— Woman was the Erst human being to come 
into bondage: she was a slave before the male slave existed. 

All social dependence and oppression has its roots in the economic 
dependence of the oppressed upon the oppressor. In this condition woman 
finds herself, from an early day down to our own. The history of the 
development of human society proves the fact everywhere. 

The knowledge of the history of this development is, however, 
comparatively new. As little as the myth of the Creation of the 
World— as taught us by the Bible— can be upheld in sight of the 
investigations of geographers and, scientists, grounded as these 
investigations are upon unquestionable and innumerable facts, just so 
untenable has its myth proved concerning the creation and evolution of 
man. True enough, as yet the veil is far from being lifted from all the 
sub-departments of this historical development of mankind; over many, on 

15 



which already light has been shed, differences of opinion still exist 
among the investigators on the meaning and connection of this or that 
fact; nevertheless, on the whole, there is agreement and clearness. It 
is established that man did not, like the first human couple of the 
Bible, make his first appearance on earth in an advanced stage of 
civilization. He reached that plane only in the course of endlessly long 
lapses of time, after he had gradually freed himself from purely animal 
conditions, and had experienced long terms of development, in the course 
of which his social as well as his sexual relations— the relations 
between man and woman— had undergone a great variety of changes. 

The favorite phrase— a phrase that the ignorant or impostors daily smite 
our ears with on the subject of the relations between man and woman, and 
between the poor and the rich— "it always has been so," and the 
conclusion drawn therefrom— "it will always be so," is in every sense 
of the word false, superficial and tnunped-up. 

For the purposes of this work a cursory presentation of the relations 

between the sexes, since primitive society, is of special importance. It 

is so because it can thereby be proved that, seeing that these relations 

have materially changed in the previous course of human development, and 

that the changes have taken place in even step with the existing systems 

of production, on the one hand, and of the distribution of the product 

of labor, on the other, it is natural and goes without saying that, 

along with further changes and revolutions in the system of production 

and distribution, die relations between the sexes are bound to change 

again. Nothing is "eternal," either in nature or in human life; eternal 

only is change and interchange. 

As far back as one may go in the development of human society, the horde 
is found as the first human community. True enough, Honeger mentions in 
his "General History of Civilization" that even to-day in the little 
explored interior of the island of Borneo, there are wild people, living 
separately; and Huegel likewise maintains that, in the wild mountain 
regions of India, human couples have been discovered living alone, and 
who, ape-like, fled to the trees as soon as they were met; but there is 
no further knowledge on the subject. If verified, these claims would 
only confirm the previous superstition and hypothesis concerning the 
development of the human race. The probability is that, wherever human 
beings sprang up, there were, at first, single couples. Certain it is, 
however, that so soon as a larger number of beings existed, descended 
from a common parent stock, they held together in hordes in order that, 
by their joint efforts, they might, first of all, gain their still very 
primitive conditions of life and support, as well as to protect 
themselves against their common enemies, wild animals. Growing numbers 
and increased difficulties in securing subsistence, which originally 
consisted in roots, berries and fruit, first led to the splitting up or 

16 



segmentation of the hordes, and to the search for new habitats. 

This almost animal-like state, of which we have no further credible 
antiquarian proofs, undoubtedly once existed, judging from all that we 
have learned concerning the several grades of civilization of wild 
peoples still living, or known to have lived within historic times. Man 
did not, upon the call of a Creator, step ready-made into existence as a 
higher product of civilization. It was otherwise. He has had to pass 
through the most varied stages in an endlessly long and slow process of 
development. Only via ebbing and flowing periods of civilization, and in 
constant differentiation with his fellows in all parts of the world, and 
in all zones, did he gradually climb up to his present height. 

Indeed, while in one section of the earth's surface great peoples and 
nations belong to the most advanced stages of civilization, other 
peoples are found in different sections standing on the greatest variety 
of gradations in development. They thus present to us a picture of our 
own past history; and they point to the road which mankind traversed in 
the course of its development. If but certain common and generally 
accepted data are established, that may serve everywhere as sign-posts 
to guide investigation, a mass of facts will follow, throwing a wholly 
new light upon the relations of man in the past and the present. A 
number of social phenomena— unintelligible to us to-day, and attacked by 
superficial judges as nonsensical, not infrequently even as 
"immoral"— will become clear and natural. A material lifting of the 
veil, formerly spread over the history of the development of our race, 
has been effected through the investigations made, since Bachofen, by a 
considerable number of scientists, like Tylor, MacLennan, Lubbock and 
others. Prominently among the men who joined these was Morgan, with his 
fundamental work, that Frederick Engels further substantiated and 
supplemented with a series of historical facts, economic and political 
in their nature, and that, more recently, has been partly confirmed and 
partly rectified by Cunow. 1 

By means of these expositions— especially as clearly and lucidly 
presented by Frederick Engels, in his support of Morgan's excellent and 
fundamental work,— a mass of light is shed upon hitherto unintelligible, 
partly seemingly contradictory phenomena in the life of the races and 
tribes of both high and low degree of culture. Only now do we gain an 
insight into the structure that human society raised in the course of 
time. According thereto, our former views of marriage, the family, the 
community, the state, rested upon notions that were wholly false; so 
false that they turn out to be no better than a fancy-picture, wholly 
devoid of foundation in fact. 

All that is said and proved about marriage, the family, the community 
and the state holds good especially with regard to woman, who, in the 

17 



various periods of development did likewise fill a place, that differs 
materially from the "eternal," imputed to her. 

Morgan, whom Engels agrees with in this, divides the history of mankind 
into three main epochs:— savagery, barbarism and civilization. Each of 
the two first ones he again divides into an under, a middle and an upper 
period, each distinguishing its elf from the other by certain innovations 
and improvements, predicated in each instance upon the control over 
subsistence. Morgan, accordingly, exactly in the sense of the 
materialist conception of history, as established by Karl Marx and 
Frederick Engels,— perceives the leading characteristics in the 
development of society to be the changes that, in given epochs, the 
conditions of life are molded into; and he perceives the changes to be 
[because of] the progress made in the process of production, that is to say, 
in the procurement of subsistence. Summed up in a few words, the lower 
period of savagery constitutes the infancy of the human race, during 
which the race, partly living in trees, is mainly nourished by fruits 
and roots, and during which articulate language takes its inception. The 
middle period of savagery commences with the acquisition of a fish 
subsistence, and the use of fire. The construction of weapons begins; at 
first the club and spear, fashioned out of wood and stone. Thereby also 
begins the chase, and probably also war with contiguous hordes for the 
sources of food, for domiciles and hunting grounds. At this stage 
appears also cannibalism, still practiced to-day by some tribes and 
peoples of Africa, Australia and Polynesia. The upper period of savagery 
is characterized by the perfection of weapons to the point of the bow 
and arrow; finger weaving, the making of baskets out of filaments of 
bark, the fashioning of sharpened stone tools have here their start, and 
thereby begins also the preparation of wood for the building of boats 
and huts. The form of life has accordingly, become many-sided. The 
existing tools and implements, needed for the control of a plentiful 
food supply, make possible the subsistance of larger communities. 

The lower period of barbarism Morgan starts with the invention of the 
art of pottery. The taming and domestication of animals, and, along with 
that, the production of meat and milk, and the preparation of hides, 
horns and hair for various purposes of use, have here their start. Hand 
in hand therewith begins the cultivation of plants,— in the West of 
maize, in the East of almost all known cereals, maize excepted. The 
middle period of barbarism shows us, in the East, the ever more 
extensive domestication of animals; in the West, the cultivation of 
maize and plants by irrigation. Here also begins the use of adobe-bricks 
and of stone for house-building. The domestication of animals promotes 
the rearing of herds, and leads to the pastoral life. The necessity of 
larger quantities of food for men and beasts leads to field agriculture. 
Along therewith, the people begin to be localized; food increases in 
quantity and diversity, and gradually cannibalism disappears. 

18 



The upper period of barbarism begins finally with the smelting of iron 
ore, and the discovery of the phonetic alphabet. The iron plow-share is 
invented, making possible agriculture on a larger scale; the iron axe 
and spade are brought into requisition, making easy the clearing of the 
forests. With the preparation of iron, a number of fields are opened to 
activity, imparting to life a new form. Iron utensils help the building 
of houses, vessels and weapons; with the preparation of metals arises 
skilled handwork, a more perfect knowledge of weapons, and the building 
of walled cities. Architecture, as an art, then rises; mythology, poetiy 
and history find support and expansion in the discovery of the phonetic 
alphabet. 

The Orient and the countries bordering on the Mediterranean, 
particularly Egypt, Greece and Italy, are those in which the last 
sketched stage of life principally unfolded; and it laid the foundation 
for the social transformation that in the course of time exercised a 
determining influence on the social development of Europe and of the 
whole earth. 

As a matter of course, the social development of the human race through 
the periods of savagery and barbarism had also its peculiar sexual and 
social relations, differing materially from those of later days. 

Bachofen and Morgan have traced these relations by means of thorough 
investigations. Bachofen, by studying closely all ancient and modern 
writings, so as to arrive at the nature of phenomena that appear 
singular to us in mythology, folk-lore and historic tradition, and that, 
nevertheless, seem to be re-echoed in incidents and events of later 
days, occasionally even of our own. Morgan, by spending decades of his 
life among the Iroquois Indians, located in the state of New York, and 
thereby making observations, through which he gained new and unexpected 
insight into the system of life, the family and the relationships of the 
said Indian tribe, and, based upon which, observations made elsewhere, 
first received their correct interpretation and explanation. 

Both of them, Bachofen and Morgan, discovered, each along his own line 
of research, the latter, however, far more clearly than the former, that 
the relations of the sexes during primitive times of human development 
were substantially different from the relations existing in historic 
days, and among the modern civilized peoples. Especially did Morgan 
discover— thanks to his many years' sojourn among the Iroquois of North 
America, and grounded upon comparative studies, which he was moved to by 
that which he there observed,— that all the existing races, that are 
still materially backward, possess systems of family and consanguinity 
that are totally different from ours, but must be similar to those once 
prevalent among all races during the previous stages of civilization. 

19 



Morgan found, at the time that he lived among the Iroquois, that among 
them there existed a system of monogamy, easily dissolvable by both 
parties, and which he designated as the "pairing family." He also found 
that the terms for the degrees of consanguinity— father, mother, son, 
daughter, brother, sister— although, according to our conception, there 
can be no doubt as to their application, were there, nevertheless, 
applied in quite different sense. The Iroquois calls not only his own 
children "sons" and "daughters," but also the children of all his 
brothers; and their children call him "father." Conversely, the female 
Iroquois calls not only her own children "sons" and "daughters," but all 
those of her sisters, and likewise do their children call her "mother." 
On the other hand, she calls the children of her brothers "nephews" and 
"nieces," and these call her "aunt." The children of brothers call one 
another "brothers" and "sisters;" likewise the children of sisters. 
Finally, the children of a woman and those of her brother call one 
another "cousins." Accordingly, the singular spectacle is seen of the 
terms of relationship going, not as in our sense, by the degree of 
consanguinity, but by the sex of the relative. 

This system of relationship is in full force, not only among all the 
American Indians, as well as among the aborigines of India, the tribes 
of Dekan and the Gaura tribes of Hindostan, but, according to the 
investigations that have taken place since Bachofen, similar conditions 
must have existed everywhere in primitive times, as they still exist 
to-day among many peoples of Upper and Further Asia, Africa and 
Australia. When, in connection with these investigations and established 
facts, the investigation will be everywhere taken up on the sex and 
family relations of wild and barbarous nations still living, then will 
the fact transpire that, what Bachofen still confusedly found among 
numerous peoples of antiquity, and rather surmised than otherwise; what 
Morgan found among the Iroquois; what Cunow r found among the 
Austral-Negros, are but social and sexual formations, that constitute 
the groundwork of human development for all the peoples of the earth. 

The investigations of Morgan bring, moreover, other interesting facts to 
light. Although the "pairing family" of the Iroquois starts in 
insolvable contradiction with the terms of consanguinity in use among 
them, it turns out that, as late as the first half of the 1 9th Century, 
there existed on the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii) a family-form that 
actually tallied with that which, among the Iroquois, existed in name 
only. But the system of consanguinity, in force in Hawaii, failed, in 
turn, to tally with the family-form actually in existence there. It 
referred to an older family-form, one still more primitive, but no 
longer extant. There, all the children of brothers and sisters, without 
exception, w r ere "brothers" and "sisters." Accordingly, they w r ere not 
considered the common children of their mothers and of the sisters of 



20 



these, or of their fathers and of the brothers of these, but of all the 
brothers and sisters of their parents, without distinction. The Hawaiian 
system of consanguinity corresponded, accordingly, with a stage of 
development that was lower than the family-form still actually in 
existence. Hence transpires the curious fact that, in Hawaii, as with 
the Indians of North America, two distinct systems of consanguinity are, 
or rather, at a time, were in vogue, which no longer tallied with actual 
conditions, but were both overtaken by a higher state. On this head 
Morgan says: "The family represents an active principle. It is never 
stationary, but advances from a lower to a higher form as society 
advances from a lower to a higher condition, and finally passes out of 
one form into another of higher grade. Systems of consanguinity, on the 
contrary, are passive; recording the progress made by the family at long 
intervals apart, and only changing radically when the family has 
radically changed." 

The theory,— even to-day generally considered conclusive, and which is 
stubbornly upheld as irrefutable by the representatives of the status 
quo— to the effect that the existing family-form has existed since time 
immemorial, and, lest the whole social fabric be put in jeopardy, must 
continue to exist forever, turned out, accordingly, after these 
discoveries of the investigators, to be wholly false and untenable. The 
form, under which the relations of the sexes appear" and the situation of 
the family is raised, depends rather upon the social conditions, upon 
the manner in which man controls his subsistence. The form changes with 
the changed degree of culture at each given period. 

The study of primitive history leaves now no room for doubt that, at the 
low r est grades of human development, the relation of the sexes is totally 
different from that of latter times, and that a state of things resulted 
therefrom, which, looked at with modern eyes, appeals as monstrous, and 
as a sink of immorality. Nevertheless, as each social stage of human 
development has its own conditions of production, so likewise has each 
its own code of morals, which is but the reflection of the social 
condition. That is moral which is usage; and that, in turn, is usage 
which corresponds with the innermost being, i.e., the needs of a given 
period. 

Morgan reaches the conclusion that, at the low r er period of savagery, 
there was sexual intercourse between the several grades or generations, 
every woman belonging to every man, and every man to every woman- in 
other w r ords, promiscuity. All men live in polygamy and all women in 
polyandry. There is a general community ofwomen and of men, but also a 
community of children, Strabo reports (sixty-six years before our 
reckoning) that, among the Arabians, brothers cohabited with sisters and 
with their own mother. On any route other than that of incest, the 
increase of population is nowhere possible, if, as alleged in the Bible 

21 



also, descent from one couple is granted. The Bible itself contradicts 
itself on this delicate point. It is stated there that Cain, after he 
had murdered his brother Abel, took a wife of another people. Whence 
came that other people? The theory of promiscuity in primitive times, 
that is to say, that the horde was endogamous, that sexual intercourse 
was indiscriminate, is furthermore supported by the Hind[u] myth, 
according to which Brahma married his own daughter Saravasti. The same 
myth turns up again among the Egyptians and the northern Edda. The 
Egyptian god Amnion was the spouse of his own mother, and boasted of it. 
Odin, according to the Edda, was the mate of his own daughter Frigga. 2 
Morgan proceeds from the principle that, from the state of promiscuity, 
soon a higher form of sexual intercourse took shape. He designates this 
the consanguine family. Here the groups, that stand in sexual relation, 
are separated by grades or generations, so that grandfathers and 
grandmothers, within an age group, are husbands and wives. Their 
children, likewise, constitute a group of common couples; likewise the 
children of these, so soon as they have reached the requisite age. 
Accordingly, in contrast with the sex relations of the rawest period, in 
which promiscuity of sexes exists without distinction of age, now one 
generation is excluded from sexual intercourse with another. Sexual 
intercourse, however, exists between brothers and sisters, male and 
female cousins of the first, second and third remove. All of these 
together are brothers and sisters, but towards one another, they are all 
husbands and wives. This family-form corresponds with the system of 
consanguinity that still existed in Hawaii during the first part of the 
1 9th Century, in name only, but no longer in fact. On the other hand, 
according to the American Indian system of consanguinity, a brother and 
sister can never be the father and mother of the same child— a thing, 
however, permissible in the Hawaiian family system. Probably the 
consanguine family was the state that, at the time of Herodotus, existed 
among the Massagetae, on the subject of which he reports: "Each man 
received a wife, but all were allowed to use her." And he continues: "At 
any time a man desires a woman, he hangs his quiver in front of his 
wagon, and cohabits, mi concerned, with her.... He at the same time 
sticks his staff into the ground, a symbol of his own act.... 
Cohabitation is exercised in public." 3 Similar conditions Bachofen 
shows have existed among the Lycians, Etruscans, Cretans, Athenians, 
Lesbians and Egyptians. 

According to Morgan, the consanguine family is supervened by a third and 
higher form of family relationship, which he designates as the Punaluan 
family. Puiialua, "dear friend," "intimate companion." 

Cunow, in his above named book, takes exception to Morgan's views that 
the consanguine family, which rests on the organization of marriage 
classes by generations, preceded the punaluan family as an original 
organization. Cunow does not see in the consanguine family the most 

22 



primitive of all social forms, until now discovered. He sees in it 
merely a middle form, that takes its origin in the generation groups; a 
transition stage toward the pure gentile organization, on which, as a 
graft, the division in age classes, belonging to the consanguine family 
system, still continues for a time in altered form, along with the 
division in totem-groups. 4 Cunow explains further: The division in 
classes— every individual, man or woman, carries the name of his or her 
class and generation group totem— does not serve to exclude sexual 
intercourse between collateral, but to prevent cohabitation between 
relatives in the ascending and descending line, between parents and 
children, aunts and nephews, uncles and nieces. Terms such as "aunt," 
"uncle," etc., he designates as grade-names. 

Cunow furnishes the proofs for the correctness of the views in which he 
differs from Morgan on some points. But, however he may differ from 
Morgan in single instances, he emphatically defends him against the 
attacks of Westermann and others. He says: 

"Although here and there a hypothesis of Morgan may have proved itself 
false, and some others may be allowed only a qualified approval, that 
merit none can gainsay him that he has been the first to establish the 
identity of the North American totem-group with the gentile organization 
of the Romans; and, secondly, to demonstrate that our modern systems of 
consanguinity and family-forms are the result of a long process of 
development. In a measure he has thereby first made recent 
investigations possible; he has first built the foundation on which we 
may build further." In the introduction also to his book he says 
expressly that his own work is partly a supplement to Morgan's book on 
primitive man. 

The Westermanns, the Starckes, the Zieglers— the latter of whom, in his 
book, criticized in the introduction to the twenty-fifth edition of this 
work, refers mainly to the first named, in order to attack our 
statements with theirs— will have to submit, with good grace or bad, to 
the fact that the rise and development of the family has not taken the 
course that fits in with their bourgeois prejudices. The refutation 
that, in the last part of his work, Cunow bestows upon Westermann and 
Starcke, Ziegler's authorities, are calculated to enlighten their most 
fanatic followers upon the value of their caviling criticisms of, and 
arguments against, Morgan. 

According to Morgan, the punaluan family has its start with the 
exclusion of consanguineous brothers and sisters, on the mother's side. 
Where a woman has several husbands, the evidence of paternity is 
impossible. Paternity becomes a fiction. Even to-day, under the rule of 
strict monogamous marriage, paternity, as Goethe, in his 
"Apprenticeship," lets Frederick say, "rests only upon faith." If with 

23 



monogamy, paternity is often doubtful, it is impossible of proof in 
polygamy: only descent from the mother is certain and unquestionable. 
Accordingly, descent from the mother afforded the only criterion. As all 
deep-reaching transformations in the social relations of primitive man 
are accomplished only slowly, the change of the so-called consanguine 
into the punaluan family must unquestionably have engaged vast periods 
of time, and been broken through by many relapses, still noticeable in 
much later days. The proximate external inducement for the development 
of the punaluan family was, possibly, the necessity of splitting up the 
strongly swollen membership of the family, to the end that new grounds 
could be occupied for cattle ranges and agriculture. Probably, also, 
with the reaching of a higher grade of civilization, a sense gradually 
asserted itself of the harmfulness and indecorousness of sexual 
intercourse between brothers and sisters, and close relatives. In favor 
of this theory stands a pretty tradition, that, as related by Cunow, 
Gaston found among the Dieyeries, one of the South Australian tribes, on 
the rise of the "Mordu" consanguine group. He says: 

"After creation, fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers and other near 
relatives married promiscuously among one another, until the evil 
effects of such connections showed themselves clearly. A conference of 
leaders was held, and it was considered in what way this could be 
avoided. The outcome of the conference was a request to the Muramura 
(Great Spirit); and he ordered in his answer that the tribe be divided 
into several branches, and that, in order to distinguish them, they be 
called by different names, after animate or inanimate objects. For 
instance: after the dingo, the mouse, the emu, the rain, the 
iguana-lizard, etc. The members of one and the same group could not 
marry another. The son of a Dingo could not, for instance, marry the 
daughter of a Dingo; each of the two could, however, enter into 
connections with the Mouse, the Emu, the Rat, or any other family." 

This tradition is more sensible and natural, by a good deal, than the 
Christian tradition, taught by the Bible. It shows plainly the rise of 
the consanguine groups. Moreover, Paul Lafargue, makes in the "Neue 
Zeit" the sagacious, and, we think, felicitous point, that names, such 
as Adam and Eve, are not names of individual persons, but the names of 
gentes, in which, at the time, the Jews were joined. Lafargue solves by 
his argument a series of otherwise obscure and contradictory passages in 
the first Book of Moses. Again, M. Beer calls attention, likewise in the 
"Neue Zeit," that, to this day, it is a conjugal custom among Jews that 
the bride and the bridegroom's mother may not cairy the same name, 
otherwise— thus runs this belief— a misfortune will befall the family: 
sickness and death will pursue them. In our opinion, this is a further 
proof for the correctness of Lafargue's theory. The gentile organization 
forbids marriage between persons that descend from the same gens stock. 
Such a common descent must be considered to exist, according to gentile 

24 



principles, between the bride, that carries the name of "Eve," and the 
bridegroom's mother of the same name. Modern Jews, of course, have no 
longer the remotest suspicion of the real connection between their 
prejudice and their old gentile constitution, which forbade such 
marriages of relatives. The old gentile order had for its object to 
avoid the degenerating consequences of in-breeding. Although this 
gentile constitution has for thousands of years been destroyed among the 
Jews, tradition, as we see, has continued to live in superstition. 

Quite possible, the experience, made at an early day with the breeding 
of animals, revealed the harmfulness of in-breeding. How far this 
experience went transpires from the manner in which, according to the 
first Book of Moses, chap. 30, verse 32 and sequel, Jacob understood how 
to outwit his father-in-law Laban, by knowing how to encompass the birth 
of earnings that were streaked and pied, and which, according to Laban's 
promises, were to be Jacob's. The old Israelites had, accordingly, long 
before Darwin, studied Darwinism. 

Once upon the subject of the conditions existing among the old Jews, a 
few other facts are in order, clearly proving that, among them, descent 
in the female line was actually in force of old. True enough, on the 
subject of woman, I Moses, 3, 16, runs this wise: "And thy desire shall 
be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee;" and the verse also 
undergoes the variation: "the woman shall leave father and mother, and 
cleave to her husband." In point of fact, however, I Moses, 2, 24, has 
it this way: " Therefore shall a mail leave liis father and mother and 
shall cleave unto liis wife, and they shall be one flesh." The same 
language recurs in Matthew 19, [5]; Mark 10, 7, and in the Epistle to the 
Ephesians 5, 31. The command sprang, accordingly, from the system of 
descent in the female line, and the exegetists, at a loss what to do 
with it, allowed it to appear in a light that is utterly false. 

Descent in female line appears clearly also in IV Moses, 32, 41. It is 
there said that Jair had a father, who was of the tribe of Judah, but 
his mother was of the tribe of Manasseh, and Jair is expressly called 
the son of Manasseh, and he inherited in that tribe. Another instance of 
descent in the female line among the Jews is met in Nehemiah 7, 63. 
There the children of a priest, who took to wife one of the daughters of 
Barzillai— a Jewish clan— are called children of Barzillai; they are, 
accordingly, not called after the father, who, moreover, as a priest 
occupied a privileged position, but after the mother. For the rest, 
already in the days of the Old Testament, accordingly, in historic 
times, the father-right prevailed among the Jews, and the clan and tribe 
organization rested on descent in the male line. Accordingly, the 
daughters were shut off as heirs, as may be seen in I Moses 31, 14-15, 
where even Leah and Rachel, the daughters of Laban, complain: "Is there 
yet any portion or inheritance for us in our father's house? Are we not 

25 



counted of him strangers? for he has sold us, and hath quite devoured 
also our money." 

As happened with all peoples where descent in male replaced descent in 
female line, woman among the Jews stood wholly bereft of rights. Wedlock 
was marriage by purchase. On woman the obligation was laid of the 
strictest chastity; on the other hand, man was not bound by the same 
ordinance; he, moreover, was privileged to possess several wives. Did 
the husband, after the bridal night, believe to have found that his wife 
had, before marriage, lost her maidenhood, not only had he the right to 
cast her off, she was stoned to death. The same punishment fell upon the 
adultress; upon the husband, however, only in case he committed adultery 
with a married Jewish woman. According to V Moses 24, 1-4, the husband 
had also the right to cast off his newly-married wife, if she found no 
favor in his eyes, even if only out of dislike. He was then to write her 
a bill of divorcement, give it in her hand, and let her out of the 
house. An expression of the low position that woman took later among the 
Jews is furthermore found in the circumstances that, even to this day, 
woman attends divine service in the synagogue, in a space strictly 
separated from the men, and they are not included in the prayers. 5 

The relations of the sexes in the punaluan family consisted, according 
to Morgan, in one or more sisters, belonging to one family group, 
marrying jointly one or more brothers of another group. The consanguine 
sisters, or the first, second and more remote cousins were wives in 
common with their husbands in common, who could not be their brothers. 
These consanguine brothers, or cousins of several degrees, were the 
husbands in common of their wives in common, who could not be their 
sisters. With the stopping of in-breeding, the new family-form 
undoubtedly contributed towards the rapid and vigorous development of 
the tribes, and imparted to the tribes, that had turned to this form of 
family connection, an advantage over those that still retained the old 
form of connections. 

In general, the physical and intellectual differences between man and 
woman were vastly less in primitive days than in our society. Among all 
the peoples, living in the state of savagery or barbarism, the 
differences in the weight and size of the brain are slighter than among 
the peoples in civilization. Likewise, in strength of body and agility, 
the women among these peoples are but little behind the men. This is 
attested not only by the testimony of the ancient writers on the peoples 
who clung to the mother-right. Further testimony is furnished by the 
armies of women among the Ashantees and of the King of Dahomey in West 
Africa, who distinguished themselves by special bravery and ferocity. 
Likewise does the opinion of Tacitus on the women of the old Germans, 
and Caesar's accounts of the women of the Iberians and Scots confirm the 
fact. Columbus had to sustain a fight before Santa Cruz with an Indian 

26 



skiff in which the women fought as bravely as the men; and we find this 
theory further confirmed in the passages from Havelock Ellis's work, 
"Man and Woman," which Dr. Hope B. Adams-Walther deals upon in Nos. 39 
and 40 of the "Neue Zeit." He says: 

"About the Andombis of the Congo, Johnson relates that the women work 
hard as carriers and in other occupations. All the same, they lead a 
perfectly happy life. They are often stronger and more handsomely built 
than the men; not a few of them have positively magnificent figures. 
Parke styles the Manynema of the same neighborhood 'fine animals,' and 
he finds the women veiy stately. They cany burdens as heavy as the men 
and with equal ease. A North American Indian chief said to Hearne: 
'Women are created for labor; a woman can cany or drag as much as two 
men.' Schellong, who published a painstaking study on the Papuans of New 
Guinea in the Ethnologic Journal, issued in 1891, is of the opinion that 
the women are more strongly built than the men. In the interior of 
Australia, women are sometimes beaten by men out of jealousy; but it 
happens not infrequently that it is the man, who, on such occasions, 
receives the stronger dose. In Cuba the women fought shoulder to 
shoulder with the men. Among some tribes in India, as well as the 
Pueblos of North and the Patagonians of South America, the women are as 
tall as the men. Even among the Arabians and Druses the difference in 
size is slight; and yet nearer home, among the Russians, the sexes are 
more alike than is the case among the western Europeans. Accordingly, in 
all parts of the earth there are instances of equal or approximately 
equal physical development." 

The family relations that flow from the Punaluan family were these: The 
children of my mother's sisters are her children, and the children of my 
father's brothers are his children, and all together are my brothers and 
sisters. Conversely, the children of my mother's brothers are her 
nephews and nieces, and the children of my father's sisters are his 
nephews and nieces, and they, all together, are my cousins. Again, the 
husbands of my mother's sisters are her husbands also, and the wives of 
my father's brothers are also his wives; but my father's sisters and my 
mother's brothers are excluded from family relationship, and their 
children are my cousins. 6 

Along with arising civilization, sexual intercourse is proscribed 
between brothers and sisters, and the proscription gradually extends to 
the remotest collateral relatives on the mother's side. A new group of 
consanguinity arises, the gens, which, in its first form, is made up of 
a series of consanguine and more remote sisters, together with their 
children and their consanguine and more remote brothers on their 
mother's side. The gens has a common female ancestor, from whom the 
female successors descend in generations. The husbands of these women 
are not of the consanguine group, the gens, of their wives; they are of 

27 



the gens of their sisters. Conversely, the children of these men belong 
to the family group of their, the children's mother, descent being in 
the female line. The mother is the head of the family; and thus arises 
the "mother-right," which for a long time constitutes the basis of the 
family and of inheritance. In keeping therewith— so long as descent was 
recognized in the female line— woman had a seat and voice in the 
councils of the gens; they voted in the election of the sachems and of 
the military chiefs, and deposed them. 

About the Lycians, who abided by the mother-right, Herodotus says; 
"Their customs are partly Cretan, partly Carian. They have, however, a 
custom that distinguishes them from all other nations in the world. Ask 
a Lycian who he is, and he answers by giving you his own name, the name 
of his mother, and so on in the female line. Aye, if a free-born woman 
marries a slave, her children are citizens, but if a free man marries a 
stranger, or takes a concubine, even if he be the highest person in the 
state, his children forfeit all citizen rights." 

In those days, "matrimonium" and not "patrimonium," "mater familias" 
and not "pater familias" were the terms used; and the native land is 
called the "dear motherland." As with the previous family-forms, so did 
the gens rest upon the community of property, and had a communistic 
system of household. The woman is the real guide and leader of this 
family community; hence she enjoys a high degree of respect, in the 
house as well as in the affairs of the family community concerning the 
tribe. She is judge and adjuster of disputes, and frequently performs 
the ceremonies of religion as priestess. The frequent appearance of 
Queens and Princesses in antiquity, their controlling influence, even 
there where their sons reigned, for instance, in the history of old 
Egypt, are results of the mother-right. Mythology, at that epoch, 
assumes predominantly female characters: Astarte, Ceres, Demeter, 
Latona, Isis, Frigga, Freia, Gerdha, etc. Woman is considered 
inviolable; matricide is the blackest of all crimes: it summons all men 
to retribution. The blood-feud is the common concern of all the men of 
the tribe; each is obliged to avenge the wrong done to a member of the 
family community by the members of another tribe. In defence of the 
women the men are spurred to highest valor. Thus did the effects of the 
mother-right, gyneocracy, manifest themselves in all the relations of 
life among the peoples of antiquity— among the Babylonians, the 
Assyrians, the Egyptians, the Greeks, before the time of the Heroes; 
among the peoples of Italy, before the founding of Rome; among the 
Scythians, the Gauls, the Iberians and Cantabrians, the Germans of 
Tacitus, etc. Woman, at that time, takes in the family and in public 
life a position such as she has never since taken. Along these lines, 
says Tacitus in his "Germania": "They (the Germans) even suppose 
somewhat of sanctity and prescience to be inherent in the female sex; 
and, therefore, neither despise their counsels, nor disregard their 

28 



responses;" and Diodorus, who lived at die time of Caesar, feels highly 
indignant over the position of women in Egypt, having learned that 
there, not the sons, but the daughters, supported their aging parents. 
He contemptuously shrugs his shoulders at the poltroons of the Nile, who 
relinquish household and public rights to the members of the weaker sex, 
and allow them privileges that must sound unheard-of to a Greek or a 
Roman. 

Under the gyneocracy, a state of comparative peace prevailed in general. 
The horizon was narrow and small, life primitive. The different tribes 
separated themselves from one another, as best they could, and respected 
their mutual boundaries. Was, however, one tribe attacked by another, 
then the men were obliged to rush to its defence, and in this they were 
supported by the women in the most vigorous fashion. According to 
Herodotus, the women joined in battle among the Scythians: as he claims, 
the maid could not marry before she had slain an enemy. What role 
women played in battle among the Germans, Iberians, Scots, etc., has 
already been stated. But in the gens also did they, under given 
circumstances, command a strong regiment:— woe to the man who was either 
too lazy or too unskilled to contribute his share to the common support. 
He was shown the door, and, either he returned to his own gens, where it 
was with difficulty he was again received with friendliness, or he 
joined another gens that was more tolerant toward him.' 

That conjugal life still bears this character in the interior of Africa, 
Livingstone learned to his great surprise, as he narrates in his 
"Missionary Travels and Researches in Southern Africa," London, 1857. On 
the Zambesi he ran across the Valonda— a handsome, vigorous negro tribe, 
devoted to agriculture— where he found confirmed the informations 
received from the Portuguese, and which at first seemed incredible to 
him, with regard to the privileged position enjoyed by women. They sit 
in council; the young man who marries must move from his own, to the 
village of his wife: he thereby pledges himself to furnish the mother of 
his wife for life with kindling wood: if he divorces, the children 
remain the property of the mother. On the other hand, the wife must see 
to the sustenance of the husband. Although, occasionally, slight 
disagreements break out between man and wife, Livingstone found that the 
men did not retaliate, but he discovered that the men, who offended 
their wives, were punished in the most sensitive manner— through their 
stomachs. The husband, he says, comes home to eat, but one woman sends 
him off to another, and he gets nothing. Tired and hungry he climbs a 
tree in the most populous part of the village, and announces in woeful 
tones: "Hear! Hear! I thought I had married women, but they are witches 
to me! I am a bachelor; I have not a single wife! Is that right towards 
a man like me?" If a woman gives physical expression to her anger at a 
man, she is sentenced to cany him on her back from the court of the 
chieftain to her own house. While she is carrying him home, the other 

29 



men scoff at and jeer her; the women, on the contrary, encourage her 
with all their might, calling out to her: "Treat him as he deserves; do 
it again!" 

Similar conditions still exist in the German colony of Cameroon in West 
Africa. A German ship's doctor, who studied the country and its people 
by personal observation, writes us thus: 

"With a large number of tribes, inheritance is based on maternity. 

Paternity is immaterial. Brothers and sisters are only the children of 

one mother. A man does not bequeath his property to his children, but to 

the children of his sister, that is to say, to his nephews and nieces, 

as his nearest demonstrable blood relatives. A chief of the Way people 

explained to me in horrible English: "My sister and I are certainly 

blood relatives, consequently her son is my heir; when I die, he will 

be the king of my town." "And your father?" I inquired. "I don't know 

what that means, 'my father,'" answered he. Upon my putting to him the 

question whether he had no children, rolling on the ground with 

laughter, he answered that, with them, men have no children, only women. 

"I can assure you," our informant goes on to write, "that even the heir 
of King Bell in Cameroon is the King's nephew, and not one ofliis 
sons. The so-called children of King Bell, several of whom are now 
going through training in German cities, are merely children of his 
wives, whose fathers are unknown; one of them I might, possibly, claim 
for myself." 

What say the adversaries of the theory of descent in the female line to 
this sketch drawn from the immediate present? Our informant is a man 
with eyes open, who probed things to the very bottom. How many of those 
who live among these semi-savage races, do as much? Hence the wild 
accounts about the "immorality" of the natives. 

Furthermore, there come to our notice the memorials of the Imperial 
Government, submitted to the Reichstag on the German colonies (Session 
of 1894-95). In the memorial on the Southwestern territory of Africa 
there occurs this passage, p. 239: "Without their advice— the oldest and 
wealthiest— he (chief of the tribe in principal village) can not render 
the slightest decision, and not the men only, but quite often the women 
also, even the servants, express then -opinion." 

In the report of the Marshall Islands, p. 254 of the memorial, it runs 
thus: "The ruling power over all the islands of the Marshall group never 
rested in the hands of a single chieftain.... Seeing, however, that no 
female member of tins class (the Irody) is alive, and only the mother 
conveys nobility and rank to the clnld, the Irodies dies out with their 
chieftain." The expression used, and the descriptions made, by 

30 



reporters betray what an utter blank are to them the conditions that 
they refer to: they can not find their bearings among them. 

With an increasing population, there arise a number of sisters, which, 
in turn, produce daughter gentes. Over and against these, the mother 
gens appears as phratry. A number of phratries constitute a tribe. This 
social organization is so firm that it still constituted the foundation 
for the military organization in the old states, after the old gentile 
constitution had fallen to pieces. The tribe splits up into several 
tribes, all of which have the same constitution, and in each of which 
the old gentes are reproduced. However, seeing that the gentile 
constitution forbids the intermarriage of brothers and sisters, and of 
relatives on the mother's side to the furthest degree, it undermines its 
own foundation, [because of] the evermore complicated relations of the 
separate gentes with one another— a condition of things that the social 
and economic progress promotes— the inhibition of marriage between the 
several gentes, that descend from the mother's side, becomes in the 
long run impracticable: it breaks down of itself, or is burst asunder. 
So long as the production of the means of subsistence was still at the 
lowest stages, and satisfied only simple wants, the activity of man and 
woman was essentially the same. Along with an increasing division of 
labor, there came about, not merely a division of functions, but also a 
division of occupations. Fishing, the hunt, cattle-raising,— demanded 
separate knowledge; and, to a still higher degree, the construction of 
tools and utensils, which became mainly the property of the men. Field 
agriculture expanded materially the circle of activities, and it created 
a supply of subsistence that satisfied the highest demands of the time. 
Man, whose activity stood in the foreground in the course of this 
development, became the real lord and owner of these sources of wealth, 
which, in turn, furnished the basis for commerce; and this created new 
relations, and social changes. 

Not only did ever fresh causes of friction and conflicts arise for the 
possession of the best lands, [because of] the increase of population, and the 
need of wider domains for cattle-raising and agriculture, but, along 
with such increase of population, there arose the need of labor power to 
cultivate the ground. The more numerous these powers, all the greater 
was the wealth in products and herds. These struggles led, first, to the 
rape of women, later to the enslaving of conquered men. The women became 
laborers and objects of pleasure for the conqueror; their males became 
slaves. Two elements were thereby simultaneously introduced into the old 
gentile constitution. The two and the gentile constitution could not, in 
the long rim, get along together. 

Furthermore, hand in hand with the increasing differentiation of 
occupations, owing to the growing need of tools, utensils, weapons, 
etc., handicraft rises into existence. It follows its own course of 

31 



development and separates itself from agriculture. As a consequence, a 
distinct population, one that plies the trades, is called into life; and 
it splits off from the agricultural population with entirely different 
interests. 

According to the mother-right, i.e., so long as descent followed only 
in female line, the custom was that the gentile relatives inherited from 
the deceased gentile fellow-members on the mother's side. The property 
remained in the gens. The children of the deceased father did not belong 
to his gens, but to that of the mother: accordingly, they did not 
inherit from the father; at his death his property fell back to his own 
gens. Under the new conditions, where the father was the 
property-holder, i.e., the owner of herds and slaves, of weapons and 
utensils, and where he had become a handicraftsman, or merchant, his 
property, so long as he was still considered of the gens of his mother, 
fell after his death, not to his own children, but to his brothers and 
sisters, and to the children of his sisters, or to the successors of 
his sisters. His own children went away empty-handed. The pressure to 
change such a state of things was, accordingly, powerful;— and it was 
changed. Thereupon a condition arose that was not yet monogamy, but that 
approximated it; there arose the "pairing family." A certain man lived 
with a certain woman, and the children, born of that relation, were that 
couple's own children. These pairing families increased in the measure 
in which the marriage inhibitions, that flowed from the gentile 
constitution, hampered marriage, and in which the above mentioned 
economic grounds rendered desirable this new form of family life. 
Personal property accorded ill with the old condition of things, which 
rested upon the community of goods. Both rank and occupation now 
decidedly favored the necessity for the choice of a domicile. The 
production of merchandise begot commerce with neighboring and foreign 
nations; and that necessitated money. It was man who led and controlled 
this development. His private interests had, accordingly, no longer any 
real points of contact with the old gentile organization, whose 
interests often stood in opposition to his own. Accordingly, the 
importance of the gentile organization sank ever more. The gens finally 
became little more than the center of the religious functions for the 
family, its economic significance was gone. The complete dissolution of 
gentile organization became only a question of time. 

With the dissolution of the old gentile organization, the influence and 
position of woman sank rapidly. The mother-right vanished; the 
father-right stepped into its shoes. Man now became a private 
property-holder: he had an interest in children, whom he could look upon 
as legitimate, and whom he made the heirs of his property: hence he 
forced upon woman the command of abstinence from intercouise with other 
men. 



32 



At the same time man assumed the right of taking unto himself, beside 
his own wife, or several of them, as many concubines as his condition 
allowed; and the children of these concubines were likewise treated as 
legitimate. On this head we find two valuable illustrations in the 
Bible. In I Book of Moses, chapter 16, verses 1 and 2, we read: "Now 
Sarai, Abram's wife, bare him no children: and she had a hand-maid, an 
Egyptian, whose name was Hagar. And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, 
the Lord has restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my 
maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened 
to the voice of Sarai." The second remarkable illustration is found in I 
Book of Moses 30, 1 and sequel: "And when Rachel saw that she bare Jacob 
no children, Rachel envied her sister; and said unto Jacob, Give me 
children, or else I die. And Jacob's anger was kindled against Rachel; 
and he said, Am I in God's stead, who hath withheld from thee the fruit 
of the womb? and she said, Behold my maid Bilhah, go in unto her; and 
she shall bear upon my knees that I may also have children by her. And 
she gave him Bilhah her handmaid to wife: and Jacob went in unto her." 

Jacob, accordingly, had not only the daughters of Laban, two sisters, 
simultaneously for wives, they also helped him to their maids, all of 
which, according to the usage of the times, was wholly free from taint 
of impropriety. The two principal wives he had bought, as is well known, 
by serving Laban seven years for each. The purchase of a wife was at the 
time common among the Jews, but, along with the purchase of wives, whom 
they were compelled to take from among their own people, they practiced 
on an extensive scale the rape of women from among the peoples that they 
conquered. The Benjaminites raped the daughters of Silos. 8 In such 
wars, it was originally customary that all the men who fell into the 
hands of the vanquisher were killed. The captured woman became a slave, 
a concubine. Nevertheless, she could be raised to the dignity of a 
legitimate wife so soon as she had fulfilled certain conditions of the 
Jews: she had to cut her hair and nails; to lay off the dress she was 
captured in, and exchange it for another that was given her; thereupon 
she had to mourn a whole month for her father and mother: she was, in a 
manner to be dead to her own people, become estranged from them: then 
could she climb into the conjugal bed. The largest number of wives had 
King Solomon, as is known. According to [1 Kings 11, 13], not less than 700 
wives and 300 concubines are ascribed to him. 

With the rule of the father-right and descent in the male line in the 
Jewish gentile organization, the daughters were excluded from 
inheritance. Later this was, however, changed, at least when a father 
left no sons. This appears from IV Book of Moses 27, 2-8, where it is 
reported that, as Zelaphehad died without sons, and his daughter 
complained bitterly that she was to be excluded from her father's 
inheritance, which was to fall back to the tribe of Joseph, Moses 
decided that, in that case, the daughters should inherit. But seeing 

33 



that she contemplated marrying, according to custom, in another tribe, 
the tribe of Joseph complained that thereby the inheritance would be 
lost to it. Thereupon Moses decided further ([IV], 36, [2-5]) that heiresses, 
though free in the choice of a husband, were bound to marry in the tribe 
of their own father. For the sake of property, the old ordinance was 
overthrown. Similarly, in Athens, did Solon decree that an heiress had 
to marry her nearest male agnate, even though both belonged to the same 
gens, and, according to former law, such a marriage was forbidden. Solon 
ordered also that a property-holder was not compelled as thitherto, to 
leave his property to his own gens in case he died childless; but that 
he could by testament constitute any one else his heir. From all this it 
is obvious:— man does not rule property, property rules him, and becomes 
his master. 

With the rule of private property, the subjection of woman to man, her 
bondage was sealed. Then came the time of disregard, even of contempt 
for woman. 

The reign of the mother-right implied communism; equality for all; the 
rise of the father-right implied the reign of private property, and, 
with it, the oppression and enslavement of woman. 

It is difficult to trace in detail the manner in which the change was 
achieved. A knowledge of the events is lacking. Neither did this first 
great revolution in the lap of mankind come into force simultaneously 
among the ancient nations; nor yet is it probable that it was 
accomplished everywhere in the same manner. Among the peoples of old 
Greece, it was Athens where the new order of things first prevailed. 

Frederick Engels is of the opinion that this great revolution was 
accomplished peacefully, and that, after all the conditions for the new 
rights were at hand, it only required a simple vote in the gens in order 
to rear the father in the place of the mother-right. Bachofen, on the 
contrary, grounding his opinion upon more or less reliable information 
from the old writers, holds that the women offered strong resistance to 
this social transformation. He, for instance, sees in the legends of the 
Amazonian Kingdoms, which re-appear under manifold variations in the old 
history of Asia and the Orient, and also have turned up in South America 
and in China, proofs for the struggle and resistance which the women 
offered to the new order. We leave that as it may be. 

With the rule of man, women lost their position in the community; they 
were excluded from the councils and from all leading influence. Man 
exacts conjugal fidelity from her, but claims exemption for himself. If 
she violates that, she is guilty of the most serious deception that can 
afflict the new citizen; she thereby introduces into his house 
stranger's children as heirs of his property. Hence, among all ancient 

34 



nations, the breach of conjugal fidelity on the part of woman is 
punished with death or slavery. 

Notwithstanding women were thus removed from their position as leaders, 
the customs connected with the old system of morals continued for 
centuries to sway the public mind, although the meaning of the surviving 
customs was gradually lost to the people. It is only in modern times 
that pains are being taken to inquire into the original meaning of these 
old customs. In Greece, for instance, it remained a religious practice 
that Greek women prayed only to goddesses for advice, help and favors. 
Likewise, the yearly recurring celebration of the Thesmophoria ow r ed its 
origin to the days of mother-right. Even in later days, the women of 
Greece celebrated this festival for five days in honor of Demeter; and 
no man w r as allowed to be present. It w r as similarly in old Rome with a 
festival in honor of Ceres. Both Demeter and Ceres were considered 
goddesses of fertility. In Germany also such festivals, once customary 
in the heathen days of Frigga, w r ere held, deep into the Middle Ages, 
Frigga being considered the goddess of fertility among the old Germans. 
According to the narratives, women gave a free reign to their 
frolicsomeness on the occasions of these festivals. Also here men w r ere 
excluded from participation in the festival. 

In Athens, where, as already stated, the mother-right made earliest room 
for the father-right, but, as it seems, under strong opposition from the 
women, the transition is portrayed touchingly and in all the fullness of 
its tragic import, in the "Eumenides" of Aeschylus. The story is this: 
Agamemnon, King of Mycene, and husband of Clytemnestra, sacrifices his 
daughter, Iphigenia, upon the command of the oracle on his expedition 
against Troy. The mother, indignant at the sacrifice of her daughter, 
takes, during her husband's absence, Aegysthos for her consort. Upon 
Agamemnon's return to Mycene, after an absence of many years, he is 
murdered by Aegysthos with the connivance of Clytemnestra. Orestes, the 
son of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra, avenges the murder of his father, at 
the instigation of Apollo and Athene, by slaying his mother and 
Aegysthos. The Erinnyes, as representatives of the old law r , pursue 
Orestes on account of the murder of his mother. Apollo and Athene, the 
latter of whom, according to mythology, is motherless— she leaped 
full-armed out of the head of Jupiter— represent the new r law r , and defend 
Orestes. The issue is carried to the Areopagus, before which the 
following dialogue ensues. The two hostile principles come here into 
dramatic vividness of expression: 

Erimiyes— The prophet bade thee be a matricide? 

Orestes— And to this hour I am well content withal. 

Erimiyes— Thoul't change diat time, when judgment seizes thee. 

Orestes— My father from Iris tomb will take my part; I fear not. 

Erimiyes— Ay, rely on dead men's aid, 

When guilty of matricide! 

35 



Orestes— She, that is slain, 

Was doubly tainted. 

Erimiyes— How? Inform the court. 

Orestes— She slew her wedded lord, and slew my sue. 

Erimiyes— Death gave her quittance, then. But thou yet livest. 

Orestes— And while she lived, why did you not pursue her? 

Erimiyes— No tie of blood bound her to whom she slew. 

Orestes— But I was tied by blood-affinity 

To her who bare me? 

Erimiyes— Else, thou accursed one, 

How nourished she thy life within her womb? 

Wouldst diou renounce the holiest bond of all? 

The Erimiyes, it will be noticed, recognize no rights on the part of 
the father and the husband; to them there exists only the right of the 
mother. That Clytemiiestra slew her husband is indifferent to them; on 
the other hand, they demand punishment for the matricide, committed by 
Orestes: in killing his mother he had committed the worst crime 
imaginable under the old gentile order. Apollo, on the contrary, stands 
on the opposite principle. Commissioned by Zeus to avenge the murder of 
his father, he had led Orestes to the murder of his own mother. Apollo 
now defends Orestes' action before the judges, saying: 

That scrapie likewise I can satisfy. 
She who is called the mother of the child 
Is not its parent, but the nurse of seed 
Implanted in begetting. He that sows 
Is author of the shoot, which she, if Heaven 
Prevent not, keeps as in a garden-ground. 
In proof whereof, to show that fatherhood 
May be without the mother, I appeal 
To Pallas, daughter of Olympian Zeus, 
In present witness here. Behold a plant, 
Not moulded in the darkness of the womb, 
Yet nobler than all scions of Heaven's stock. 

According to Apollo, the act of begetting confers the superior right; 
whereas, according to the views in force until then, the mother, who 
gives to the child her blood and its life, was esteemed the sole 
possessor of the child, while the man, the father of her child, was 
regarded a stranger. Hence the Erimiyes reply to the strange notions of 
Apollo: 

Thou didst lead astray 
Those primal goddesses with draughts of wine, 
O'erturning ordinance. 
Young, thou wouldst override our ancient right. 

The judges, thereupon, make ready for the sentence. One half stand by 
the old, one half by the new right; a tie is threatened; thereupon 
Athene seizes the ballot from the altar and dropping it in the urn, 
says: 

36 



To me it falls to give my judgment last. 

Here openly I give it for Orestes. 

No mother bore me. To the masculine side 

For all save marriage my whole heart is given,— 

In all and everything the father's child. 

So little care I for a woman's death, 

That slew her lord, the guardian of her home. 

Now though the votes be even, Orestes wins. 

The new right won. Marriage with the father as head, had overpowered the 
gyneocracy. 

Another legend represents the downfall of the mother-right in Athens 
this way: "Under the reign of Kekrops, a double miracle happened. There 
broke forth simultaneously out of the earth an oil-tree, and at another 
place water. The frightened king sent to Delphi to interrogate the 
Oracle upon the meaning of these happenings. The answer was: 'The 
oil-tree stands for Minerva, the water for Neptune; it is now with the 
citizens after which of the two deities they wish to name their city.' 
Kekrops called together the assembly of the people in which men and 
women enjoyed the right of suffrage. The men voted for Neptune, the 
women for Minerva; and as the women had a majority of one, Minerva won. 
Thereupon Neptune was angered and he caused the sea to wash over the 
territory of the Athenians. In order to soothe the wrath of the god, the 
Athenians placed a threefold punishment upon their women:— they were to 
forfeit the suffrage, children were no longer to carry their mother's 
name, and they themselves were no longer to be called Athenian 
women." 9 

As in Athens, the transition from the mother to the father-right was 
everywhere achieved so soon as a certain height was reached in social 
development. Woman is crowded into the house; she is isolated; she is 
assigned special quarters— the gynekonitis— , in which she lives; she is 
even excluded from intercourse with the male visitors of the house. 
That, in fact, was the principal object of her isolation. 

This change finds its expression as early as the Odyssey. Telemachus 
forbids Penelope's, his mother's, presence among the suitors. He, the 
son, orders his mother: 

But come now, go to thy bower, and deal with such tilings as ye can; 
With the sock and the loom be busy, and thine handmaids order and 

teach, 
That they speed the work and the wearing; but for men is the word 

and the speech; 
For all, but for me the cliiefest, for here am I the might and the 

power. 



37 



Such was the doctrine already common in Greece at that time. It went 
even further. Woman, even if a widow, stands so completely under the 
rule of the nearest male relative, that she no longer has even the 
choice of a husband. The suitors, tiled of long waiting, [because of] the 
cunning of Penelope, address themselves to Telemachus through the mouth 
of Antinous, saying: 

But for thee, do we the suitors this answer to thee show, 

That thou in thy soul may'st know it, and that all the folk may know, 

Send thou thy mother away, and bid her a wedding to gain 

With whoniso her father willeth, ofwhomso herheaitmay be Iain. 

It is at an end with the freedom of woman. If she leaves the house, she 
must veil herself not to awaken the desires of another man. In the 
Orient, where, [because of] the warm climate, sexual passion is strongest, 
this method of seclusion is carried even to-day to extreme lengths. 
Athens becomes in this a pattern for the ancient nations. Woman shares, 
indeed, her husband's bed, but not his table; she does not address him 
by name, but "Sir;" she is his maid-servant; she was allowed to appear 
nowhere openly; on the street she was ever veiled and clad with greatest 
simplicity. If she committed adultery, she paid for the trespass, 
according to the laws of Solon, with her life, or with her freedom. The 
husband could sell her for a slave. 

The position of the Greek woman at the time when Greece was rushing to 
the zenith of her development comes into plastic expression in the 
"Medea" of Euripedes. She complains: 

Ay, of all living and of all reasoning things 

Are women the most miserable race: 

Who first needs buy a husband at great price, 

To take him then for owner of our lives: 

For this ill is more keen than common ills. 

And of essays most perilous is this, 

Whether one good or evil do we take. 

For evil-famed to women is divorce, 

Nor can one spurn a husband. She, so brought 

Beneath new rule and wont, had surely need 

To be a prophetess, unless at home 

She learned the likeliest prospect with her spouse. 

And if, we having aptly searched out this, 

A husband house with us not savagely 

Drawing in the yoke, ours is an envied life; 

But if not, most to be desired is death. 

And if a man grow sick to herd indoors, 

He, going forth, stays his heart's weariness, 

Turning him to some friend or natural peer; 

But we perforce to one sole being look. 

But, say they, we, while they fight with the spear, 

Lead in our homes a life undangerous: 

Judging amiss; for I would liefer thrice 

Bear brunt of arms than once bring forth a child. 

38 



Wholly otherwise stood matters for the men. Although with an eye to the 
begetting of legitimate heirs for his property, he imposed upon woman 
strict abstinence from other men, he was, nevertheless, not inclined to 
lay a corresponding abstinence upon himself. 

Hetairism sprang up. Women distinguished for their beauty and intellect, 
and who, as a rule, were aliens, preferred a free life in intimate 
intercourse with men, to the slavery of marriage. Nothing objectionable 
was seen in that. The names and fame of these hetairae, who held 
intimate intercourse with the leading men of Greece, and participated in 
their learned discourses, as w r ell as in their revels, has come down to 
our own days; wiiereas the names of the legitimate wives are mostly 
forgotten and lost. Thus the handsome Aspasia w r as the intimate friend of 
the celebrated Pericles, wiio later made her his legitimate wife; the 
name of Phryne became in later days the generic designation of those 
women that w r ere to be had for money. Phryne held intimate relations with 
Hyperides, and she stood for Praxiteles, one of the first sculptors of 
Greece, as the model for his Aphrodite. Danae w r as the sweetheart of 
Epicurus, Archeanassa that of Plato. Other celebrated hetairae, whose 
names have reached our days, w r ere Lais of Corinth, Gnathanea, etc. There 
is no celebrated Greek, wiio had no intercourse with hetairae. It 
belonged to the style of life of distinguished Greeks. Demosthenes, the 
great orator, described in his oration against Neara, the sexual life of 
the rich men of Athens in these w r ords: " We many a woman in order to 
obtain legitimate children, and to have a faitliful warder in the house; 
we keep concubines for our sendee and daily caie; and hetairae for the 
enjoyment of love" The wife was, accordingly, only an apparatus for 
the production of children; a faithful dog, that w r atched the house. The 
master of the house, on the contrary, lived according to his bon 
plaish; as he willed. 

In order to satisfy the demand for venal women, particularly with 
younger males, there arose that which w r as unknown under the rule of the 
mother-right,— prostitution. Prostitution distinguishes itself from 
the free sexual intercourse that customs and social institutions 
rendered a matter of course under primitive conditions, and, 
accordingly, freed from objectionableness, in that the woman sells her 
body, either to one man or to several, for material benefit. 
Prostitution, therefore, exists so soon as woman makes a trade of her 
charms. Solon, wiio formulated the new r law r for Athens, and is, 
consequently, esteemed the founder of the new r legal status, w r as also the 
founder of the public houses for women, the "deikterion,"— official 
houses of prostitution—, and the price to all the customers w r as the 
same. According to Philemon it amounted to one obolus, about four cents 
of our money. Like the temples with the Greeks and Romans, and the 
Christian churches in Middle Ages, the deikterion was inviolable: it 

39 



stood under die protection of the Government. Until about a hundred and 
fifty years before our reckoning, the Temple of Jerusalem also was the 
usual place of gathering for the Giles dejoie. 

For the benefit that Solon bestowed upon the Athenian male population, 
in founding the deikterion, he was praised in song by one of his 
contemporaries in these words: "Hail to you, Solon! You bought public 
women for the benefit of the city, for the benefit of the morality of a 
city that is full of vigorous young men, who, in the absence of your 
wise institution, would give themselves over to the disturbing annoyance 
of the better women." We shall see that, at the close of the nineteenth 
century, justification is sought for the regulation of houses of 
prostitution by Government, and for the necessity of prostitution 
itself, upon the identical grounds. Thus, actions, committed by men, 
were recognized by legislation as a natural right, while, committed by 
women, were held to be shameful, and a serious crime. As is well known, 
even to-day not few are the men who prefer the company of a pretty 
female sinner to that of their own wives, and who not infrequently 
belong to the "Props of the state," the "Pillars of Order," and are 
"guardians of the sanctity of marriage and the family." 

True enough, it seems, that the Greek women often revenged themselves 
upon their marital-lords for the yoke placed upon them. If prostitution 
is the supplement of monogamy, on the one side, adultery among women and 
the cuckoldiy of men is its supplement, on the other. Among the Greek 
dramatic poets, Euripides is the woman-hater: he loved to make women the 
object of attacks in his dramas. What all he twitted them with appears 
best from the speech that a Greek woman flings at him in the 
"Thesmophoria" of Aristophanes. She says among other things: 

With what slanderous dirt does not he (Euripides) besmirch us? 
When does the slanderer's tongue hold its peace? In short: 
Wherever there is an audience, tragedies or choruses, 
There we are called comer-loafers, anglers for men, 
Fond of the wine -cup, treasonable arch-gossips, 
Not a good hair is left us; we are the plague of men. 
Therefore, soon as our husbands return to us home from the 

benches," 
Eyes of suspicion upon us they cast, and look about 
Whether a place of concealment conceal not a rival. 
Whereupon, none of the tilings, at first by us done, 
Now is allowed us: Such stuff against us 
Does he in the men's heads stick, that, if a woman 
Is weaving a garland, she is held to be in love; or when, 
While hustling the household to keep, something drops, 
Forthwith the husband inquires: "Whom are those fragments meant for? 
Plainly, they are meant for the guest from Corinthos." 

We can understand that this ready-tongued Greek woman should serve the 
assailer of her sex in such manner; nevertheless, Euripides could not 

40 



very well have made these accusations, nor could he have found credence 
with the men, if they knew not but too well that the accusations were 
justified. To judge by the concluding sentences of this address, the 
custom— met later in Germany and many other countries— had not yet been 
naturalized in Greece, that the host placed his own wife or daughter at 
the disposal of his guest for the night. Murner writes on this custom, 
prevalent in Holland as late as the fifteenth century, in these words: 
"It is the custom in the Netherlands, when the host has a dear guest, 
that he lets his wife sleep with him on faith." 11 

The increasing struggles between the classes in the several states of 
Greece, and the sad state of many of the smaller communities, gave 
occasion for Plato to inquire into the best constitution and the best 
institutions for the state. In his "Republic," set up by him as ideal, 
he demands, at least for the first class of his citizens, the watchers, 
the complete equality of woman. Women are to participate in the 
exercises of arms, the same as the men, and are to fill the same duties 
as these, only they are to attend to the lighter ones, "owing to the 
weakness of the sex." He maintains that the natural inclinations are 
equally distributed among the two sexes, only that woman is in all 
matters weaker than man. Furthermore, the women are to be common to the 
men, and vice versa; likewise are the children to be common, "so that 
neither the father may know his child, nor the child his father." 12 

Aristotle, in his "Politics," is satisfied with less. Woman should have 
a free hand in the selection of her husband, but she is to be 
subordinate to him; nevertheless, she should have the right "to give 
good advice." Thucydides expresses an opinion that meets with the 
applause of all modern Philistines. He says: "That wife deserves the 
highest praise of whom, outside of her home, neither good nor bad is 
heard." 

With such views, respect for woman was bound to sink to a low level; 
fear of over-population even led to the avoidance of intimate 
intercourse with her. Unnatural means of satisfying sexual desires were 
resorted to. The Greek states were cities with small territories, unable 
to supply the usual sustenance to a population in excess of a given 
number. Hence the fear of over-population caused Aristotle to recommend 
to the men abstinence from their wives, and pederasty, instead. Before 
him, Socrates had praised pederasty as the sign of a higher culture. In 
the end, the most promising men of Greece became adherents of this 
unnatural passion. Regard for women sank all the deeper. There were now 
houses for male prostitutes, as there were for female. In such a social 
atmosphere, it was natural for Thucydides to utter the saying that woman 
was worse than the storm-lashed ocean's wave, than the fire's glow, than 
the cascade of the wild mountain torrent. "If it is a God that invented 
woman, wherever, he may be, let him know, that he is the unhallowed 

41 



cause of the greatest evil." 13 

The male population of Greece having become addicted to pederasty, the 
female population fell into the opposite extreme: it took to the love of 
members of its own sex. This happened especially with the women of the 
island of Lesbos, whence this aberration was, and still continues to be 
named, "Lesbian love," for it has not yet died out: it survives among 
us. The poetess Sappho, "the Lesbian nightingale," who lived about six 
hundred years before our reckoning, is considered the leading 
representative of this form of love. Her passion is glowingly expressed 
in her hymn to Aphrodite, whom she implores: 

Glittering-throned, undying Aphrodite, 
Wile -wearing daughter of high Zeus, I pray thee, 
Tame not my soul with heavy woe, dread mistress, 
Nay, nor with anguish. 

A still more passionate sensuousness is attested in her hymn to the 
handsome Atthis. 

While in Athens, along with the rest of Greece, the father-right ruled, 
Sparta, the rival for supremacy with Athens, still continued under the 
mother-right, a condition that had become wholly foreign to most Greeks. 
The story runs that one day a Greek asked a Spartan what punishment was 
meted out in Sparta to the adulterer. He answered: "Stranger, among us 
there are no adulterers." "But if there should be any?" "For 
punishment," the Spartan replied, sarcastically, "he must donate an ox, 
so large as to be able to reach over Taygetus with his head, and drink 
out of Eurotas." Upon the startled question, put by the stranger, "How 
can an ox be so large?" the Spartan answered laughing: "How is it 
possible that there could be an adulterer in Sparta?" At the same time 
the self-consciousness of the Spartan woman appears in the proud answer 
given a stranger by the wife of Leonidas. On his saying to her: "You 
female Lacedaemonians are the only women who rule over your men," she 
answered: "So are we the only women who bring men into the world." 

The free condition of worn [a] n under the mother-right promoted her beauty, 
raised her pride, her dignity and her self-reliance. The judgment of all 
ancient writers is to the effect that, during the period of the 
gyneocracy, these qualities were highly developed among women. The 
constrained condition that later supervened, necessarily had its evil 
effect upon them. The difference appears even in the garb of the two 
periods. The garb of the Doric woman hung loose from her shoulders; it 
left the arms free, and thighs exposed: it is the garb of Diana, who is 
represented as free and bold in our museums. The Ionian garb, on the 
contrary, concealed the body and hampered its motion. The garb of woman 
to-day is, far more than usually realized, a sign of her dependence and 
helplessness. The style of woman's dress amongst most peoples, down to 

42 



our oral days, renders her awkward, forces on her a sense of weakness, 
and makes her timid; and this, finally, finds its expression in her 
attitude and character. The custom among the Spartans of letting the 
girls go naked until marriageable age— a custom that the climate 
allowed— contributed considerably, in the opinion of an ancient writer, 
to impart to them a taste for simplicity and for attention to decency. 
Nor was there in the custom, according to the views of those days, aught 
offensive to decorum, or inciting to lust. Furthermore, the gills 
participated in all the bodily exercises, just as the boys, and thus 
there was reared a vigorous, proud, self-conscious race, a race that was 
conscious of its own merit, as proved by the answer of Leonidas' wife to 
the stranger. 

In intimate connection with the mother-right, after it had ceased to be 
a ruling social principle, stood certain customs, which modern writers, 
ignorant of their meaning, designate as "prostitution." In Babylon, it 
was a religious duty with the maid, who had reached puberty, to appear 
once in the temple of Mylitta in order to offer her maidenhood as a 
sacrifice, by surrendering herself to some man. Similarly happened in 
the Serapeum of Memphis; in Armenia, in honor of the goddess Anaitis; in 
Cyprus; in Tyrus and Sidon, in honor of Astarte or Aphrodite. The 
festivals of Isis among the Egyptians served similar customs. This 
sacrifice of virginity was demanded in order to atone with the goddess 
for the exclusive surrender of woman to one man in marriage:— "Not that 
she may wilt in the arms of a single man is woman arrayed by nature with 
all the charms at its command." 14 The continued favor of the goddess 
had to be purchased by the sacrifice of virginity to a stranger. It was 
likewise in line with the old idea that the Lybian maids earned their 
dower by prostituting their bodies. In accord with the mother-right, 
these women were sexually free during their unmarried status; and the 
men saw so little objection in these pickings, that those were taken by 
them for wives who had been most in demand. It was thus also among the 
Thracians, in the days of Herodotus: "They do not watch the maidens, but 
leave them full freedom to associate with whom they please. The women, 
however, they watch strictly. They buy them from their parents for large 
sums." Celebrated were the Hierodulae of the temple of Aphrodite at 
Corinth, where always more than one thousand maidens were gathered, and 
constituted a chief point of attraction for the men of Greece. Of the 
daughter of King Cheops of Egypt, the legend relates that she had a 
pyramid built out of the proceeds of prostitution of her charms. 

Conditions, similar to these, prevail down to now, on the Mariana, the 
Philippine and the Polynesian islands; according to Waitz, also among 
several African tribes. Another custom, prevalent till late on the 
Balearic islands, and indicative of the right of all men to a woman, was 
that, on the wedding night, the male kin had access to the bride in 
order of seniority. The bridegroom came last; he then took her as wife 

43 



into his own possession. This custom has been changed among other people 
so that the priest or the tribal chiefs (kings) exercise the privilege 
over the bride, as representatives of the men of the tribe. On Malabar, 
the Caimars hire patamars (priests) to deflower their wives.... The 
chief priest (Namburi) is in duty bound to render this service to the 
king (Zamorin) at his wedding, and the king rewards him with fifty gold 
pieces. 15 In Further India, and on several islands of the great ocean, 
it is sometimes the priests and sometimes the tribal chiefs who 
undertake the function. 16 The same happens in Senegambia, where the 
tribal chief exercises, as a duty of his office, the deflowering of 
maids, and receives therefor a present. Again, with other peoples, the 
custom was, and continues here and yonder, that the deflowering of a 
maid, sometimes even of a child only a few months old, is done by means 
of images of deities, fashioned expressly for this purpose. It may also 
be accepted as certain that the "jus primae noctis" (the right of the 
first night), prevalent in Germany and all Europe until late in the 
Middle Ages, owes its origin to the same tradition, as Frederick Engels 
observes. The landlord, who, as master of his dependents and serfs, 
looked upon himself as their chief, exercised the right of the head of 
the tribe, a right that he considered had passed over to himself as the 
arbiter of their lives and existence. 

Echoes of the mother-right are further detected in the singular custom 
among some South American tribes, that, instead of the lying-in woman, 
the man goes to bed, there acts like a woman in labor, and is tended by 
the wife. The custom implies that the father recognizes the new born 
child as his own. By imitating the pains of child-birth, the man tills 
the fiction that the birth is also his work; that he, therefore, has a 
right to the child, who, according to the former custom, belonged to the 
mother and the mother's gens, respectively. The custom is said to have 
also maintained itself among the Basques, who must be looked upon as a 
people of primitive usages and customs. Likewise is the custom said to 
prevail among several mountain tribes in China. It prevailed until not 
long since in Corsica. 

In Greece likewise did woman become an article of purchase. So soon as 
she stepped into the house of her marital lord, she ceased to exist for 
her family. This was symbolically expressed by burning before the door 
the handsomely decked wagon which took her to the house of her husband. 
Among the Ostiaks of Siberia, to this day, the father sells his 
daughter: he chaffers with the representative of the bridegroom about 
the price to be paid. Likewise among several African tribes, the same as 
in the days of Jacob, the custom is that a man who courts a maid, enters 
in the service of his future mother-in-law. Even with us, marriage by 
purchase has not died out: it prevails in bourgeois society worse than 
ever. Marriage for money, almost everywhere customary among the ruling 
classes, is nothing other than marriage by purchase. Indeed, the 

44 



marriage gift, which in all civilized countries the bridegroom makes to 
the bride, is but a symbol of the purchase of the wife as property. 

Along with marriage by purchase, there was the custom of marriage by 
rape. The rape of women was a customary practice, not alone among the 
ancient Jews, but everywhere in antiquity. It is met with among almost 
all nations. The best known historic instance is the rape of the Sabine 
women by the Romans. The rape of women was an easy remedy where women 
ran short, as, according to the legend, happened to the early Romans; or 
where polygamy was the custom, as everywhere in the Orient. There it 
assumed large proportions during the supremacy of the Arabs, from the 
seventh to the twelfth century. 

Symbolically, the rape of woman still occurs, for instance among the 
Araucans of South Chile. While the friends of the bridegroom are 
negotiating with the father of the bride, the bridegroom steals with his 
horse into the neighborhood of the house, and seeks to capture the 
bride. So soon as he catches her, he throws her upon his horse, and 
makes off with her to the woods. The men, women and children thereupon 
raise a great hue and cry, and seek to prevent the escape. But when the 
bridegroom has reached the thick of the woods, the marriage is 
considered consummated. This holds good also when the abduction takes 
place against the will of the parents. Similar customs prevail among the 
peoples of Australia. 

Among ourselves, the custom of "wedding trips" still reminds us of the 
former rape of the wife: the bride is carried off from her domestic 
flock. On the other hand, the exchange of rings is a reminiscence of the 
subjection and enchainment of the woman to the man. The custom 
originated in Rome. The bride received an iron ring from her husband as 
a sign of her bondage to him. Later the ring was made of gold; much 
later the exchange of rings was introduced, as a sign of mutual union. 

The old family ties of the gens had, accordingly, lost their foundation 
through the development of the conditions of production, and through 
the rule of private property. Upon the abolition of the gens, grounded 
on mother-right, the gens, grounded on the father-right first took its 
place, although not for long, and with materially weakened functions. 
Its task was mainly to attend to the common religious affairs and to the 
ceremonial of funerals: to safeguard the mutual obligation of protection 
and of help against violence: to enforce the right, and, in certain 
cases, the duty of marrying in the gens, in cases when rich heiresses or 
female orphans were concerned. The gens, furthermore, administered the 
still existing common property. But the segmentation of handicraft from 
agriculture; the ever wider expansion of commerce; the founding of 
cities, rendered necessary by both of these; the conquest of booty and 
prisoners of war, the latter of which directly affected the 

45 



household,— all of these tore to shreds the conditions and bonds of eld. 
Handicraft had gradually subdivided itself into a larger number of 
separate trades— weaving, pottery, iron-forging, the preparation of 
arms, house and shipbuilding, etc. Accordingly, it pushed toward another 
organization. The ever further introduction of slavery, the admittance 
of strangers into the community,— these were all so many new and 
additional elements that rendered the old constitution of society ever 
more impossible. 

Along with private property and the personal right of inheritance, class 
distinctions and class contrasts came into existence. Rich 
property-owners drew together against those who owned less, or nothing. 
The former sought to get into their own hands the public offices of the 
new commonwealth, and to make them hereditary. Money, now become 
necessary, created thitherto unknown forms of indebtedness. Wars against 
enemies from without, and conflicting interests within, as well as the 
various interests and relations which agriculture, handicraft and 
commerce mutually produced rendered necessary complicated rules of 
right, they demanded special organs to guard the orderly movement of the 
social machinery, and to settle disputes. The same held good for the 
relations of master and slave, creditor and debtor. A power, 
accordingly, became necessary to supervise, lead, regulate and harmonize 
all these relations, with authority to protect, and, when needed, to 
punish. Thus rose die state, the product, accordingly of the 
conflicting interests that sprang up in the new social order. Its 
administration naturally fell into the hands of those who had the 
liveliest interest in its establishment, and who, in virtue of their 
social power, possessed the greatest influence,— the rich. Aristocracy 
of property and democracy confronted each other, accordingly, even there 
where externally complete equality of political rights existed. 

Under the mother-right, there was no written law. The relations were 
simple, and custom was held sacred. Under the new, and much more 
complicated order, written law was one of the most important 
requirements; and special organs became necessary to administer it. In 
the measure that the legal relations and legal conditions gained in 
intricacy, a special class of people gathered shape, who made the study 
of the law their special vocation, and who finally had a special 
interest in rendering the law ever more complicated. Then arose the men 
learned in the laws, the jurists, who, [because of] the importance of the 
statutory law to the whole of society, rose to influential social rank. 
The new system of rights found in the course of time its classic 
expression in the Roman state, whence the influence that Roman law 
exercises down to the present. 

The institution of the state is, accordingly, the necessary result of a 
social order, that, standing upon the higher plane of the subdivision of 

46 



labor, is broken up into a large number of occupations, animated by 
different, frequently conflicting, interests, and hence has the 
oppression of the weaker for a consequence. This fact was recognized 
even by an Arabian tribe, the Nabateans, who, according to Diodorus, 
established the regulation not to sow, not to plant, to drink no wine, 
and to build no houses, but to live in tents, because if those things 
were done, they could be easily compelled to obey by a superior power 
(the power of the state). Likewise among the Rachebites, the descendants 
of the father-in-law of Moses, there existed similar prescriptions. 1 ' 
Aye, the whole Mosaic system of laws is aimed at preventing the Jews 
from moiing out of an agricultural state, because otherwise, so the 
legislators feared, their democratic-communistic society would go 
under. Hence the selection of the "Promised Land" in a region bounded, 
on one side, by a not very accessible mountain range, the Lebanon; on 
the other side, South and East, by but slightly fertile stretches of 
land, partly by deserts;— a region, accordingly, that rendered isolation 
possible. Hence came the keeping of the Jews away from the sea, which 
favored commerce, colonization and the accumulation of wealth; hence the 
rigid laws concerning seclusion from other peoples, the severe 
regulations against foreign marriages, the poor laws, the agrarian laws, 
the jubileum,— all of them provisions calculated to prevent the 
accumulation of great wealth by the individual. The Jewish people were 
to be kept in permanent disability ever to become the builders of a real 
state. Hence it happens that the tribal organization, which rested upon 
the gentile order, remained in force with them till its complete 
dissolution, and continues to affect them even now. 

It seems that the Latin tribes, which took a hand in the founding of 
Rome, had long passed beyond the stage of the mother-right. Hence Rome 
was built from the start as a state. The women that they needed they 
captured, as the legend tells us, from the tribe of the Sabines, and 
they called themselves after their Sabine wives,— Quirites. Even in 
later years, the Roman citizens were addressed in the Forum as Quirites. 
"Populus Romanus" stood for the free population of Rome in general; but 
"Populus Romanus quiritium" expressed the ancestry and quality of the 
Roman citizen. The Roman gens was of father-right stamp. The children 
inherited as consanguineous heirs; if there were no children, the 
relatives of the male line inherited; were none of these in existence, 
then the property reverted to the gens. By marriage, woman lost her 
right to inherit her father's property and that of his brothers. She had 
stepped out of her gens: neither she nor her children could inherit from 
her father or his brothers: otherwise the inheritance would be lost to 
the paternal gens. The division in gentes, phratries and tribes 
constituted in Rome for centuries the foundation of the military 
organization, and also of the exercise of the rights of citizenship. But 
with the decay of the paternal gentes and the decline of their 
significance, conditions shaped themselves more favorably for woman. She 

47 



could not only inherit, but had the right to administer her own fortune. 
She was, accordingly, far more favorably situated than her Greek sister. 
The freer position that, despite all legal impediments, she gradually 
knew how to conquer, caused the elder Cato, born 234 before our 
reckoning, to complain: "If, after the example of his ancestors, eveiy 
head of a family kept his wife in proper subjection, we would not have 
so much public bother with the whole sex." 18 

So long as the father lived, he held in Rome the guardianship over his 
daughter, even if she were married, unless he appointed another guardian 
himself. When the father died, the nearest male of kin, even though 
declared unqualified as an agnate, came in as guardian. The guardian had 
the right at any time to transfer the guardianship to any third person 
that he pleased. Accordingly, before the law, the Roman woman had no 
will of her own. 

The nuptial forms were various, and in the course of centuries underwent 
manifold alterations. The most solemn nuptials were celebrated before 
the High Priest, in the presence of at least ten witnesses. At the 
occasion, the bridal pair, in token of their union, partook together 
from a cake made of flour, salt and water. As will be noticed, a 
ceremony is here celebrated, that bears great resemblance to the 
breaking of the sacramental wafer at the Christian communion. A second 
form of nuptials consisted in possession. The marriage was considered 
accomplished if, with the consent of her father or guardian, a woman 
lived with the chosen man a whole year under one roof. A third form of 
nuptials was a sort of mutual purchase, both sides exchanging coins, and 
the promise to be man and wife. Already at the time of Cicero 19 free 
divorce for both sides was generally established; it was even debated 
whether the announcement of the divorce was necessary. The "lex Julia de 
adulteriis," however, prescribed that the divorce was to be solemnly 
proclaimed. This decree was made for the reason that women, who 
committed adultery, and were summoned to answer the charge, often 
claimed to have been divorced. Justinian, the Christian 20 forbade free 
divorce, unless both sides desired to retire to a monastery. His 
successor, Justinian II, however, found himself obliged to allow it 
again. 

With the growing power and rising wealth of Rome, mad-brained rices and 
excesses took the place of the former severity of manners. Rome became 
the center from which debauchery, riotous luxury and sensuous 
refinements radiated over the whole of the then civilized world. The 
excesses took— especially during the time of the Emperors, and, to a 
great extent, through the Emperors themselves— forms that only insanity 
could suggest. Men and women vied with one another in vice. The number 
of houses of prostitution became ever larger, and, hand in hand with 
these, the "Greek love" (pederasty) spread itself ever more among the 

48 



male population. At times, the number of young men in Rome who 
prostituted themselves was larger than that of the female prostitutes. 

"The hetairae appeared, surrounded by their admirers, in great pomp on 
the streets, promenades, the circus and theatres, often carried by 
negroes upon litters, where, holding a mirror in their hands, and 
sparkling with ornaments and precious stones, they lay outstretched, 
nude, fan-carrying slaves standing by them, and surrounded by a swarm of 
boys, eunuchs and flute-players; grotesque dwarfs closed the 
procession." 

These excesses assumed such proportions in the Roman Empire that they 
became a danger to the Empire itself. The example of the men was 
followed by the women. There were women, Seneca reports, who counted the 
years, not as was the usage, after the consuls, but after the number of 
their husbands. Adultery was general; and, in order that the women might 
escape the severe punishments prescribed for the offense, they, and 
among them the leading dames of Rome, caused themselves to be entered in 
the registers of the Aediles as prostitutes. 

Hand in hand with these excesses, civil wars and the latifundia system, 
celibacy and childlessness increased in such measure that the number of 
Roman citizens and of patricians ran down considerably. Hence in the 
year 16 B.C., Augustus issued the so-called Julian Law, 21 which 
offered prizes for the birth of children, and imposed penalties for 
celibacy upon the Roman citizens and patricians. He who had children 
had precedence in rank over the childless and unmarried. Bachelors could 
accept no inheritance, except from their own nearest kin. The childless 
could only inherit one-half; the rest fell to the state. Women, who 
could be taxed with adultery, had to surrender one-half of their dower 
to the abused husband. Thereupon there were men who married out of 
speculation on the adultery of their wives. This caused Plutarch to 
observe: "The Romans marry, not to obtain heirs, but to inherit." 

Still later the Julian Law was made severer. Tiberius decreed that no 
woman, whose grandfather, father or husband had been or still was a 
Roman Knight, could prostitute herself for money. Married women, who 
caused themselves to be entered in the registers of prostitutes, were 
condemned to banishment from Italy as adulteresses. Of course, there 
were no such punishments for the men. Moreover, as Juvenal reports, even 
the murder of husbands by poison was a frequent occurrence in the Rome 
of his day— the first half of the first century before Christ. 



49 



CHAPTER II. 

UNDER CHRISTIANITY. 

The opposite of polygamy,— as we have learned to know it among Oriental 
peoples, and as it still exists among them, but owing to the number of 
available women and the cost of their support, can be indulged in only 
by the privileged and the rich— is polyandry. The latter exists mainly 
among the highland people of Thibet, among the Garras on the 
Hind [u] -Chinese frontier, among the Baigas in Godwana, the Nairs in the 
southern extremity of India; it is said to be found also among the 
Eskimos and Aleutians. Heredity is determined in the only way 
possible,— after the mother: the children belong to her. The husbands of 
a woman are usually brothers. When the elder brother marries, the other 
brothers likewise become the husbands of the woman; the woman, however, 
preserves the right to take other men besides. Conversely, the men also 
are said to have the right of taking a second, third, fourth, or more 
wives. To what circumstances polyandry owes its origin is not yet clear. 
Seeing that the polyandrous nations, without exception, live either on 
high mountain regions, or in the cold zone, polyandry probably owes its 
existence to a phenomenon that Tarnowsky comments on. 22 He learned 
from reliable travelers that a long sojourn at high elevations lowers 
the sensuous pleasures, and weakens erection, both of which return with 
new rigor by re-descension to lower altitudes. This lowering of the 
sexual powers, Tarnowsky is of the opinion, might partly account for the 
comparative slight increase of population on highland regions; and he is 
of the opinion that, when the debility is transmitted, it may become a 
source of degeneration that operates upon the perversity of the sexual 
sense. 

We may also add that a protracted domicile, together with the habits of 
life contracted on very high or cold regions, may have for a further 
result that polyandry lays no excessive demands upon a woman. The women 
themselves are correspondingly affected in their nature. That they are 
so is rendered probable by the circumstance that, among the Eskimo 
girls, menstruation sets in only with the nineteenth year, whereas in 
the warm zones it sets in as early as the tenth or eleventh, and in the 
temperate latitudes between the fourteenth and the sixteenth year. In 
view of the fact that warm climates, as universally recognized, exercise 
a strongly stimulating influence upon the sexual instinct,— whence 
polygamy finds its widest diffusion in warm countries— it is quite 
likely that cold regions— to which high mountains and plateaus belong, 
and where the thinner air may also contribute its share— may exercise 
materially a restringent effect upon the sexual instinct. It must, 
moreover, be noted that experience shows conception occurs rarer with 
women who cohabit with several men. The increase of population is, 
accordingly, slight under polyandry; and it fits in with the difficulty 

50 



of seeming subsistence, encountered in cold lands and mountain 

regions;— whereby additional proof is furnished that also, in this, to 

us so seemingly strange phenomenon of polyandry, production has its 

determining influence upon the relations of the sexes. Finally, it is to 

be ascertained whether among these peoples, who live on high mountains 

or in cold zones, the killing of girl babies is not a frequent practice, 

as is oft reported of the Mongolian tribes, on the highlands of China. 

Exactly the reverse of the custom among the Romans during the Empire, of 
allowing celibacy and childlessness to gain the upper hand, was the 
custom prevalent among the Jews. True enough, the Jewish woman had no 
right to choose; her father fixed upon the husband she was to wed; but 
marriage was a duty, that they religiously followed. The Talmud advises: 
"When your daughter is of marriageable age, give his freedom to one of 
your slaves and engage her to him." In the same sense the Jews followed 
strictly the command of their God: "Increase and multiply." [because of] this, 
and despite all persecutions and oppression, they have diligently 
increased their numbers. The Jew is the sworn enemy of Malthusianism. 

Already Tacitus says of them: "Among themselves there is a stubborn 
holding together, and ready open-handedness; but, for all others, 
hostile hatred. Never do they eat, never do they sleep with foes; and, 
although greatly inclined to sensuousness, they abstain from procreation 
with foreign women. Nevertheless they strive to increase their people. 
Infanticide is held a sin with them; and the souls of those who die in 
battle or by execution they consider immortal. Hence the love of 
procreation beside their contempt of death." Tacitus hated and abhorred 
the Jews, because, in contempt of the religion of their fathers, they 
heaped up wealth and treasures. He called them the "worst set of 
people," an "ugly race." 23 

Under the over-lordship of the Romans, the Jews drew ever closer 
together. Under the long period of sufferings, which, from that time on, 
they had to endure, almost throughout the whole of the Christian Middle 
Ages, grew that intimate family life that is to-day considered a sort of 
pattern by the modern bourgeois regime. On the other side, Roman 
society underwent the process of disintegration and dissolution, which 
led the Empire to its destruction. Upon the excesses, bordering on 
insanity, followed the other extreme,— the most rigid abstinence. As 
excess, in former days, now asceticism assumed religious forms. A 
dream-land-fanaticism made propaganda for it. The unbounded gluttony and 
luxury of the ruling classes stood in glaring contrast with the want and 
misery of the millions upon millions that conquering Rome dragged, from 
all the then known countries of the world, into Italy and slavery. Among 
these were also numberless women, who, separated from their domestic 
hearths, from their parents or their husbands, and torn from their 
children, felt their misery most keenly, and yearned for deliverance. A 

51 



large number of Roman women, disgusted at that which happened all around 
them, found themselves in similar frame of mind; any change in their 
condition seemed to them a relief. A deep longing for a change, for 
deliverance, took possession of extensive social layers;— and the 
deliverer seemed to approach. The conquest of Jerusalem and of the 
Jewish kingdom by the Romans had for its consequence the destruction of 
all national independence, and begot among the ascetic sects of that 
country, dreamers, who announced the birth of a new kingdom, that was to 
bring freedom and happiness to all. 

Christ came, and Christianity arose. It embodied the opposition to the 
bestial materialism that reigned among the great and the rich of the 
Roman Empire; it represented the revolt against the contempt for and 
oppression of the masses. But originating in Judaism, which knew woman 
only as a being bereft of all rights, and biased by the Biblical 
conception which saw in her the source of all evil, Christianity 
preached contempt for woman. It also preached abstinence, the 
mortification of the flesh, then so sinful, and it pointed with its 
ambiguous phrases to a prospective kingdom, which some interpreted as of 
heaven, others as of earth, and which was to bring freedom and justice 
to all. With these doctrines it found fertile ground in the submerged 
bottom of the Roman Empire. Woman, hoping, along with all the miserable, 
for freedom and deliverance from her condition, joined readily and 
zealously. Down to our own days, never yet was a great and important 
movement achieved in the world without women also having been 
conspicuously active as combatants and martyrs. Those who praise 
Christianity as a great achievement of civilization should not forget 
that it was woman in particular to whom Christianity owes a great part 
of its success. Her proselyting zeal played a weighty role in the 
Roman Empire, as well as among the barbarous peoples of the Middle Ages. 
The mightiest were by her converted to Christianity. It was Clotilde, 
for instance, who moved Clovis, the King of the Franks, to accept 
Christianity; it was, again, Bertha, Queen of Kent, and Gisela, Queen of 
Hungary, who introduced Christianity in their countries. To the 
influence of the women is due the conversion of many of the great. But 
Christianity requited woman ill. Its tenets breathe the same contempt 
for woman that is breathed in all the religions of the East. It orders 
her to be the obedient servant of her husband, and the vow of obedience 
she must, to this day, make to him at the altar. 

Let us hear the Bible and Christianity speak of woman and marriage. The 

ten commandments are addressed only to the men; in the tenth commandment 

woman is bracketed with servants and domestic animals. Man is warned not 

to covet his neighbor's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maid-servant, 

nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is his. Woman, accordingly, 

appears as an object, as a piece of property, that the man may not 

hanker after, if in another's possession. Jesus, who belonged to a 

52 



sect— the sect which imposed upon itself strict asceticism and even 

self-emasculation 24 — being asked by his disciples whether it is good 

to marry, answers: "All men cannot receive this saying, save they to 

whom it is given. For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from 

their mother's womb; and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs 

of men; and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for 

the kingdom of heaven's sake." 25 Emasculation is, according hereto, 

an act hallowed by God, and the renunciation of love and marriage a good 

deed. 

Paul, who, in a higher degree than even Jesus himself, may be called the 
founder of the Christian religion; Paul, who first impressed an 
international character upon this creed, and tore it away from the 
narrow sectarianism of the Jews, writes to the Corinthians: "Now 
concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man 
not to touch a woman;" "he that giveth her in marriage doeth well; but 
he that giveth her not in marriage doeth better." 26 "Walk in the 
Spirit and fulfil not the lust of the flesh, for the flesh lusteth 
against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh;" "they that are 
Christ's have crucified the flesh, with the affections and lusts." He 
followed his own precepts, and did not many. This hatred of the flesh 
is the hatred of woman, but also the feai' of woman, who— see the scene 
in Paradise— is represented as the seducer of man. In this spirit did 
the Apostles and the Fathers of the Church preach; in this spirit did 
the Church work throughout the whole of the Middle Ages, when it reared 
its cloisters, and introduced celibacy among the priesthood;— and to 
this day it works in the same spirit. 

According to Christianity, woman is the unclean being; the seducer, 
who introduced sin into the world and ruined man. Hence Apostles, and 
Fathers of the Church alike, have ever looked upon marriage as a 
necessary evil,— the same as is said to-day of prostitution. Tertulian 
exclaims: "Woman, thou should ever walk in mourning and rags, thy eyes 
full of tears, present the aspect of repentance to induce forgetfulness 
of your having ruined the human race. Woman, thou art the Gate of Hell!" 
Hieronymus says: "Marriage always is a vice; all that we can do is to 
excuse and cleanse it," hence it was made a sacrament of the Church. 
Origen declares: "Marriage is something unholy and unclean, a means for 
sensuality," and, in order to resist the temptation, he emasculated 
himself. Tertulian declares: "Celibacy is preferable, even if the human 
race goes to ground." Augustine teaches: "The celibates will shine in 
heaven like brilliant stars, while their parents (who brought them 
forth) are like dark stars." Eusebius and Hieronymus agree that the 
Biblical command, "Increase and multiply," no longer tits the times, and 
does not concern the Christians. Hundreds of other quotations from the 
most influential Fathers of the Church could be cited, all of which tend 
in the same direction. By means of their continuous teaching and 

53 



preaching, they have spread those unnatural views touching sexual 

matters, and the intercourse of the sexes, the latter ofwliich, 

nevertheless, remains a commandment of nature, and obedience to wliich is 

one of the most important duties in the mission of life. Modern society 

is still severely ailing from these teachings, and it is recovering but 

slowly. 

Peter calls out emphatically to women: "Ye wives, be in subjection to 
your own husbands." 2 ' Paul writes to the Ephesians: "The husband is 
the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the Church;" 28 and 
in Corinthians: "Man is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the 
glory of the man." 29 According to which every sot of a man may hold 
himself better than the most distinguished woman;— indeed, it is so in 
practice to-day. Also against the higher education of women does Paul 
raise his weighty voice: "Let the woman learn in silence with all 
subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority 
over the man, out to be in silence;" 30 and again: "Let your women 
keep silence in the churches; for it is not permitted unto them to 
speak; but tlieyare commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the 
law. And if they will learn anything, let them ask their husbands at 
home; for it is a shame for women to speak in the church."™ 

Such doctrines are not peculiar to Christianity only. Christianity being 
a mixture of Judaism and Greek philosophy, and seeing that these, in 
turn, have their roots in the older civilization of the Egyptians, 
Babylonians, and Hind[u]s, the subordinate position that Christianity 
assigned to woman was one common in antiquity. In the Hind[u] laws of 
Manu it is said regarding woman: "The source of dishonor is woman; the 
source of strife is woman; the source of earthly existence is woman; 
therefore avoid woman." Beside this degradation of woman, fear of her 
ever and anon reappears naively. Manu further sets forth: "Woman is by 
nature ever inclined to tempt man; hence a man should not sit in a 
secluded place even with his nearest female relative." Woman, 
accordingly, is, according to the Hind[u] as well as the Old Testament 
and Christian view, everywhere the tempter. All masterhood implies the 
degradation of the mastered. The subordinate position of woman 
continues, to this day, even more in force in the backward civilization 
of the East than among the nations that enjoy a so-called Christian 
view-point. That which, in the so-called Christian world, gradually 
improved the situation of woman was, not Christianity, but the advanced 
cultuie of the West struggling against the Cliiistian doctrine. 

Christianity is guiltless of woman's present improved position to what 
it was at the start of the era. Only reluctantly, and forced thereto, 
did Christianity become untrue to its true spirit with regard to woman. 
Those who rave about "the mission of Christianity to emancipate 
mankind," differ from us in this, as in other respects. They claim that 

54 



Christianity freed woman from her previous low position, and they ground 
themselves upon the worship of Mary, the "mother of God,"— a cult, 
however, that sprang up only later in Christendom, but which they point 
to as a sign of regard for the whole sex. The Roman Catholic Church, 
which celebrates this cult, should be the last to lay claim to such a 
doctrine. The Saints and Fathers of the Church, cited above, and whose 
utterances could be easily multiplied— and they are the leading Church 
authorities— express themselves separately and collectively hostile to 
woman and to marriage. The Council of Macon, which, in the [sixth] 
century, discussed the question whether woman had a soul, and which 
decided with a majority of but one vote, that she had, likewise argues 
against the theory of such a friendly posture towards woman. The 
introduction of celibacy by Gregory VII 32 — although resorted to first 
of all and mainly with the end in view of holding in the unmarried 
priesthood a power that could not be alienated from the service of the 
Church through any family interests— was, nevertheless, possible only 
with such fundamental doctrines as the Church held touching the 
sinfulness of the lusts of the flesh; and it goes to confirm our theory. 

Neither did the Reformers, especially Calvin and the Scotch ministers, 
with their wrath at the "lusts of the flesh," entertain any doubt 
touching the hostile posture of Christianity towards woman. 33 

By the introduction of the cult of Mary, the Roman Catholic Church 
shrewdly placed the worship of Mary in the place of that of the heathen 
goddesses, in vogue among all the people over whom Christianity was 
then extending itself. Mary took the place of the Cybele, the Mylitta, 
the Aphrodite, the Venus, the Ceres, etc., of the southern races; of the 
Freia, the Frigga, etc., of the Germanian tribes. She was a mere 
spiritually-Christian idealization . 

The primeval, physically robust, though rude yet uncorrupted races, 
that, during the first centuries of our reckoning, crowded down from the 
North and East like a gigantic ocean wave, and swamped the worn-out 
universal Empire of Rome, where Christianity had gradually been 
superimposing itself as master, resisted with all their might the 
ascetic doctrines of the Christian preachers. With good grace or bad, 
the latter were forced to reckon with these robust natures. With 
astonishment did the Romans perceive that the customs of those peoples 
were quite different from their own. Tacitus rendered to this fact the 
tribute of his acknowledgment, which, with regard to the Germans, he 
expressed in these words: "The matrimonial bond is, nevertheless, strict 
and severe among them; nor is there anything in their manners more 
commendable than this. Almost singly among the barbarians, they content 
themselves with one wife. Adultery is extremely rare among so numerous a 
people. Its punishment is instant, and at the pleasure of the husband. 
He cuts off the hair of the offender, strips her, and in the presence of 

55 



her relations expels her from his house, and pursues her with stripes 
through the whole village. Nor is any indulgence shown to a prostitute. 
Neither beauty, youth, nor riches can procure her a husband; for none 
there looks on vice with a smile, or calls mutual seduction the way of 
the world. The youths partake late of the pleasures of love, and hence 
pass the age of puberty unexhausted; nor are the virgins hurried into 
marriage; the same maturity, the same full growth is required; the sexes 
unite equally matched, and robust; and the children inherit the vigor of 
their parents." 

With the object in view of holding up a pattern to the Romans, Tacitus 
painted the conjugal conditions of the old Germans with rather too rosy 
a hue. No doubt, the adulteress was severely punished among them; but 
the same did not hold good with regard to the adulterer. At the time of 
Tacitus, the gens was still in bloom among the Germans. He, to whom, 
living under the advanced Roman conditions, the old gentile 
constitution, together with its principles, was bound to seem strange 
and incomprehensible, narrates with astonishment that, with the Germans, 
the mother's brother, considered his nephew as an own son; aye, some 
looked upon the bond of consanguinity between the uncle on the mother's 
side and his nephew as more sacred and closer than that between father 
and son. So that, when hostages were demanded, the sister's son was 
considered a better guarantee than an own son. Engels adds hereto: "If 
an own son was given by the members of such a gens as a pledge for a 
treaty, and he fell a sacrifice through his own father's violation of 
the treaty, the latter had to settle accounts for himself. If, however, 
it was a sister's son who was sacrificed, then the old gentile right was 
violated. The nearest gentile relative, held before all others to 
safeguard the boy or lad, had caused his death; he either had no right 
to offer him as a pledge, or he was bound to observe the treaty." 34 

For the rest, as Engels shows, the mother-right had already yielded to 
the father-right among the Germans, at the time of Tacitus. The children 
inherited from their father; in the absence of these, then the brothers 
and the uncle of the father on the mother's side. The admission of the 
mother's brother as an heir, although descent from the father determined 
the line of inheritance, is explained with the theory that the old right 
had only recently died away. It was only reminiscences of the old right 
that furnished the conditions, which enabled Tacitus to find a, to the 
Romans, incomprehensible regard for the female sex among the Germans. He 
also found that their courage was pricked to the utmost by the women. 
The thought that their women might fall into captivity or slavery was 
the most horrible that the old German could conceive of; it spurred him 
to utmost resistance. But the women also were animated by the spirit 
that possessed the men. When Marius refused the captured women of the 
Teutons to dedicate themselves as priestesses to Vesta (the goddess of 
maidenly chastity) they committed suicide. 

56 



Ill the time of Tacitus, the Germans already acquired settled 
habitations. Yearly the division of land by lots took place. Besides 
that, there was common property in the woods, water and pasture grounds. 
Their lives were yet simple; their wealth principally cattle; their 
dress consisted of coarse woolen mantles, or skins of animals. Neither 
women nor chiefs wore under-clothing. The working of metals was in 
practice only among those tribes located too far away for the 
introduction of Roman products of industry. Justice was administered in 
minor affairs by the council of elders; on more important matters, by 
the assembly of the people. The chiefs were elected, generally out of 
the same family, but the transition of the father-right favored the 
heredity of office, and led finally to the establishment of a hereditary 
nobility, from which later sprang the kingdom. As in Greece and Rome, 
the German gens went to pieces with the rise of private property and the 
development of industries and trade, and through the commingling with 
members of strange tribes and peoples. The place of the gens was taken 
by the community, the mark, the democratic organization of free 
peasants, the latter of which, in the course of many centuries, 
constituted a firm bulwark in the struggles against the nobility, the 
Church and the Princes,— a bulwark that broke down by little and little, 
but that did not wholly crumble even after the feudal state had come to 
power, and the one-time free peasants were in droves reduced to the 
condition of serfs and dependents. 

The confederation of marks was represented by the heads of the families. 
Married women, daughters, daughters-in-law were excluded from council 
and administration. The time when women were conspicuous in the conduct 
of the affairs of the tribe— a circumstance that likewise astonished 
Tacitus in the highest degree, and which he reports in terms of 
contempt— were gone. The Salic law abolished in the fifth century of our 
reckoning the succession of the female sex to hereditary domains. 

Soon as he married, every member of a mark was entitled to a share in 
the common lands. As a rule, grand-parents, parents and children lived 
under one roof, in communal household. Hence, with a view of being 
allotted a further share, under-aged or unripe sons were not 
infrequently married by their father to some marriageable maiden; the 
father then filled the duties of husband, in the stead of his son. 35 
Young married couples received a cart-load of beechwood, and timber for 
a block-house. If a daughter was born to the couple, they received one 
load of wood; if a son, two loads. 36 The female sex was considered 
worth only one-half. 

Mairiage was simple. A religious formality was unknown. Mutual 
declaiations sufficed. As soon as a couple mounted the nuptial bed, the 
marriage was consummated. The custom that marriage needs an act of the 

57 



Church for its validity, came in only in the ninth century. Only in the 
sixteenth century, on decree of the Council of Trent, was marriage 
declared a sacrament of the Roman Catholic Church. 

With the rise of feudalism, the condition of a large number of the 

members of the free communities declined. The victorious army-commanders 

utilized their power to appropriate large territories unto themselves; 

they considered themselves masters of the common property, which they 

distributed among their devoted retinue— slaves, serfs, freedmen, 

generally of foreign descent,— for a term of years, or with the right of 

inheritance. They thus furnished themselves with a court and military 

nobility, in all things devoted to their will. The establishment of the 

large Empire of the Franks finally put an end to the last vestiges of 

the old gentile constitution. In the place of the former councils of 

chiefs, now stood the lieutenants of the army and of the newly formed 

nobility. 

Gradually, the mass of the freemen, members of the once free 
communities, lapsed into exhaustion and poverty, [because of] the continuous 
wars of conquest and the [strife] among the great, whose burdens they had 
to bear. They could no longer meet the obligation of furnishing the army 
requisitions. In lieu thereof, Princes and high nobility seemed 
servants, while the peasants placed themselves and their property under 
the protection of some temporal or spiritual lord— the Church had 
managed, within but few centuries, to become a great power— wheref or 
they paid rent and tribute. Thus the thitherto free peasant's estate was 
transformed into hired property; and this, with time, was burdened with 
ever more obligations. Once landed in this state of dependence, it was 
not long before the peasant lost his personal freedom also. In this way 
dependence and serfdom spread ever more. 

The landlord possessed the almost absolute right of disposal over his 
serfs and dependents. He had the right, as soon as a male reached his 
eighteenth year, or the female her fourteenth, to compel their marriage. 
He could assign a woman to a man, and a man to a woman. He enjoyed the 
same right over widows and widowers. In his attribute of lord over his 
subjects, he also considered the sexual use of his female serfs and 
dependents to be at his own disposal,— a power that finds its expression 
in the "jus primae noctis" (the right of the first night). This right 
also belonged to his representative, the [steward], unless, upon the 
payment of a tribute, the exercise of the right was renounced. The very 
names of the tribute betray its nature. 3 ' 

It is extensively disputed that this "right of the first night" ever 
existed. The "right of the first night" is quite a thorn in the side of 
certain folks, for the reason that the right was still exercised at an 
age that they love to hold up as a model,— a genuine model of morality 

58 



and piety. It has been pointed out how this "right of the first night" 
was the rudiment of a custom, that hung together with the age of the 
mother-right, when all the women were the wives of all the men of a 
class. With the disappearance of the old family organization, the custom 
survived in the surrender of the bride, on the wedding night, to the men 
of her own community. But, in the course of time, the right is evermore 
restricted, and finally falls to the chief of the tribe, or to the 
priest, as a religious act, to be exercised by them alone. The feudal 
lord assumes the right as a consequence of his power over the person who 
belongs to the land, and which is his property; and he exercises the 
right if he wills, or relinquishes it in lieu of a tribute in products 
or money. How real was the "right of the first night" appears from Jacob 
Grimm' s " Weisthumer . " 38 

Sugenheim 39 says the "jus primae noctis," as a right appertaining to 
the landlords, originates in that his consent to marriage was necessary. 
Out of this right there arose in Beam the usage that all the first-born 
of marriages, in which the "jus primae noctis" was exercised, were of 
free rank. Later, the right was generally redeemable by a tribute. 
According to Sugenheim, those who held most stubbornly to the right were 
the Bishops of Amiens; it lasted with them till the beginning of the 
fifteenth century. In Scotland the right was declared redeemable by King 
Malcolm III, towards the end of the eleventh century; in Germany, 
however, it continued in force much longer. According to the archives of 
a Swabian cloister, Adelberg, for the year 1496, the serfs, located at 
Boertlingen, had to redeem the right by the bridegroom's giving a cake 
of salt, and the bride paying one pound seven shillings, or with a pan, 
"in which she can sit with her buttocks." In other places the 
bridegrooms had to deliver to the landlord for ransom as much cheese or 
butter "as their buttocks were thick and heavy." In still other places 
they had to give a handsome cordovan tarbouret "that they could just 
fill."" According to the accounts given by the Bavarian Judge of the 
Supreme Court of Appeals, Welsch, the obligation to redeem the "jus 
primae noctis" existed in Bavaria as late as the eighteenth 
century. 41 Furthermore, Errgels reports that, among the Welsh and the 
Scots, the "right of the first night" prevailed throughout the whole of 
the Middle Ages, with the difference only that, [because of] the continuance 
of the gentile organization, it was not the landlord, or his 
representative, but the chief of the clan, as the last representative of 
the one-time husbands in common, who exercised the right, in so far as 
it was not redeemed. 

There is, accordingly, no doubt whatever that the so-called "right of 
the first night" existed, not only during the whole of the Middle Ages, 
but continued even down to modern days, and played its role under the 
code of feudalism. In Poland, the noblemen arrogated the right to 
deflower any rrraid they pleased, and a hundred lashes were given him who 

59 



complained. That the sacrifice of maidenly honor seems even to-day a 
matter of course to landlords and their officials in the country, 
transpires, not only in Germany, oftener than one imagines, but it is a 
frequent occurrence all over the East and South of Europe, as is 
asserted by experts in countries and the peoples. 

In the days of feudalism, marriage was a matter of interest to the 
landlord. The children that sprang therefrom entered into the same 
relation of subjection to him as their parents; the labor-power at his 
disposal increased in numbers, his income rose. Hence spiritual and 
temporal landlords favored marriage among their vassals. The matter 
lay otherwise, particularly for the Church, if, by the prevention of 
marriage, the prospect existed of bringing land into the possession of 
the Church by testamentary bequests. This, however, occurred only with 
the lower ranks of freemen, whose condition, [because of] the circumstances 
already mentioned, became ever more precarious, and who, listening to 
religious suggestions and superstition, relinquished their property to 
the Church in order to find protection and peace behind the walls of a 
cloister. Others, again, placed themselves under the protection of the 
Church, in consideration of the payment of duties, and the rendering of 
services. Frequently their descendants fell on this route a prey to the 
very fate which their ancestors had sought to escape. They either 
gradually became Church dependents, or were turned into novices for the 
cloisters. 

The towns, which, since the eleventh century were springing up, then had 
at that time a lively interest in promoting the increase of population; 
settlement in them and marriage were made as easy as possible. The towns 
became especially asylums for countrymen, fleeing from unbearable 
oppression, and for fugitive serfs and dependents. Later, however, 
matters changed. So soon as the towns had acquired power, and contained 
a well-organized body of the trades, hostility arose against new 
immigrants, mostly propertyless peasants, who wanted to settle as 
handicraftsmen. Inconvenient competitors were scented in these. The 
barriers raised against immigration were multiplied. High settlement 
fees, expensive examinations, limitations of a trade to a certain number 
of masters and apprentices,— all this condemned thousands to pauperism, 
to a life of celibacy, and to vagabondage. When, in the course of the 
sixteenth century, and for reasons to be mentioned later, the 
flower-time of the towns was passing away, and their decline had set in, 
the narrow horizon of the time caused the impediments to settlement and 
independence to increase still more. Other circumstances also 
contributed their demoralizing effect. 

The tyranny of the landlords increased so mightily from decade to decade 
that many of the vassals preferred to exchange their sorrowful life for 
the trade of the tramp or the highwayman,— an occupation that was 

60 



greatly aided by die thick woods and the poor condition of the roads. 
Or, invited by the many violent disturbances of the time, they became 
soldiers, who sold themselves where the price was highest, or the booty 
seemed most promising. An extensive male and female slum-proletariat 
came into existence, and became a plague to the land. The Church 
contributed faithfully to the general depravity. Already, in the 
celibatic state of the priesthood there was a main-spring for the 
fostering of sexual excesses; these were still further promoted through 
the continuous intercourse kept up with Italy and Rome. 

Rome was not merely the capital of Christendom, as the residence of the 
Papacy. True to its antecedents during the heathen days of the Empire, 
Rome had become the new Babel, the European High School of immorality; 
and the Papal court was its principal seat. With its downfall, the Roman 
Empire had bequeathed all its vices to Christian Europe. These vices 
were particularly mused in Italy, whence, materially aided by the 
intercourse of the priesthood with Rome, they crowded into Germany. The 
uncommonly large number of priests, to a great extent vigorous men, 
whose sexual wants were intensified by a lazy and luxurious life, and 
who, through compulsory celibacy, were left to illegitimate or unnatural 
means of gratification, carried immorality into all circles of society. 
This priesthood became a sort of pest-like danger to the morals of the 
female sex in the towns and villages. Monasteries and nunneries— and 
their number was legion— were not infrequently distinguishable from 
public houses only in that the life led in them was more unbridled and 
lascivious, and in that numerous crimes, especially infanticide, could 
be more easily concealed, seeing that in the cloisters only they 
exercised the administration of justice who led in the wrong-doing. 
Often did peasants seek to safeguard wife and daughter from priestly 
seduction by accepting none as a spiritual shepherd who did not bind 
himself to keep a concubine;— a circumstance that led a Bishop of 
Constance to impose a "concubine tax" upon the priests of his diocese. 
Such a condition of things explains the historically attested fact, that 
during the Middle Ages— pictured to us by silly romanticists as so pious 
and moral— not less than 1500 strolling women turned up in 1414, at the 
Council of Constance. 

But these conditions came in by no means with the decline of the Middle 
Ages. They began early, and gave continuous occasion for complaints and 
decrees. In 802 [Charlemagne] issued one of these, which ran this 
wise: "The cloisters of nuns shall be strictly w r atched; the nuns may not 
roam about; they shall be kept with great diligence; neither shall they 
live in strife and quarrel with one another; they shall in no wise be 
disobedient to their Superiors or Abbesses, or cross the will of these. 
Wherever they are placed under the rules of a cloister they are to 
observe them throughout. Not whoring, not drunkenness, not covetousness 
shall they be the ministrants of, but in all w r ays lead just and sober 

61 



lives. Neither shall any man enter their cloisters, except to attend 
mass, and he shall immediately depart." A regulation of the year 869 
provided: "If priests keep several women, or shed the blood of 
Christians or heathens, or break the canonical law, they shall be 
deprived of their priesthood, because they are worse than laymen." The 
fact that the possession of several women was forbidden in those days 
only to the priests, indicates that marriage with several wives was no 
rare occurrence in the ninth century. In fact, there were no laws 
forbidding it. 

Aye, and even later, at the time of the Minnesaenger, during the twelfth 
and thirteenth centimes, the possession of several wives was considered 
in order. 

The position of woman was aggravated still more by the circumstance 
that, along with all the impediments which gradually made marriage and 
settlement harder, their number materially exceeded that of the men. As 
special reasons herefor are to be considered the numerous wars and 
feuds, together with the perilousness of commercial voyages of those 
days. Furthermore, mortality among men was higher, as the result of 
habitual excesses and drunkenness. The predisposition to sickness and 
death that flowed from such habits of life, manifested itself strongly 
in the numerous pest-like diseases that raged during the Middle Ages. In 
the interval between 1 326 to 1 400, there were thirty-two; from 1 400 to 
1500, forty-one; and from 1500 to 1600, thirty years of pestilence. 43 

Swarms of women roamed along the highways as jugglers, singers and 
players in the company of strolling students and clericals; they flooded 
the fails and markets; they were to be found wherever large crowds 
gathered, or festivals were celebrated. In the regiments of 
foot-soldiers they constituted separate divisions, with their own 
sergeants. There, and quite in keeping with the guild character of the 
age, they were assigned to different duties, according to looks and age; 
and, under severe penalties, were not allowed to prostitute themselves 
to any man outside of their own branch. In the camps, they had to fetch 
hay, straw and wood; fill up trenches and ponds; and attend to the 
cleaning of the place along with the baggage lads. In sieges, they had 
to fill up the ditches with brushwood, lumber and faggots in order to 
help the storming of the place. They assisted in placing the held 
pieces in position; and when these stuck in the bottomless roads, they 
had to give a hand in pulling them out again. 44 

In order to counteract somewhat the misery of this crowd of helpless 
women, so-called "Bettinen houses" were instituted in many cities, and 
placed under municipal supervision. Sheltered in these establishments, 
the women were held to the observance of a decent life. But neither 
these establishments, nor the numerous nunneries, were able to receive 

62 



all that applied for succor. 

The difficulties in the way of marriage; the tours undertaken by 
Princes, and by temporal and spiritual magnates, who with their retinues 
of knights and bondmen, visited the cities; even the male youth of the 
cities themselves, the married men not excluded, who, buoyant with life 
and unaffected by scruples, sought change in pleasures;— all this 
produced as early as in the Middle Ages the demand for prostitution. As 
every trade was in those days organized and regulated, and could not 
exist without a guild, it so was with prostitution also. In all large 
cities there were "houses of women"— municipal, prince or Church 
regalities— the net profits of which flowed into the corresponding 
treasuries. The women in these houses had a "head-mistress," elected by 
themselves, who was to keep discipline and order, and whose special 
duty it was to diligently watch that non-guild competitors, the 
"interlopers," did not injure the legitimate trade. When caught, these 
were condignly punished. The inmates of one of these houses for women, 
located in Nuerenberg, complained [to] the Magistrate, that "other 
inn-keepers also kept women, who walked the streets at night, and took 
in married and other men, and that these plied (the trade) to such an 
extent, and so much more brazenly, than they did themselves in the 
municipal (guild) girls-house, that it was a pity and a shame to see 
such things happen in this worthy city."" These "houses for women" 
enjoyed special protection; disturbances of the peace in their 
neighborhood were fined twice as heavily. The female guild members also 
had the right to take their place in the processions and festivals, at 
which, as is known, the guilds always assisted. Not infrequently were 
they also drawn in as guests at the tables of Princes and Municipal 
Councilmen. The "houses of women" were considered serviceable for the 
"protection of marriage and of the honor of the maidens,"— the identical 
reasoning with which state brothels were justified in Athens, and even 
to-day prostitution is excused. All the same, there were not wanting 
violent persecutions of the Giles dejoie, proceeding from the 
identical male circles who supported them with their custom and their 
money. The Emperor Charlemagne decreed that prostitutes shall be dragged 
naked to the market place and there whipped; and yet, he himself, "the 
Most Christian King and Emperor," had not less than six wives at a time; 
and neither were his daughters, who followed their father's example, by 
any means paragons of virtue. They prepared for him in the course of 
their lives many an unpleasant hour, and brought him home several 
illegitimate children. [Alcuin], the friend and adviser of Charlemagne, 
warned his pupils against "the crowned doves, who flew at night over the 
palatinate," and he meant thereby the daughters of the Emperor. 

The identical communities, that officially organized the brothel system, 
that took it under their protection, and that granted all manner of 
privileges to the "priestesses of Venus," had the hardest and most cruel 

63 



punishment in reserve for the poor and forsaken Magdalen. The female 
infanticide, who, driven by desperation, killed the fruit of her womb, 
was, as a rule, sentenced to suffer the most cruel death penalty; nobody 
bothered about the unconscionable seducer himself. Perchance he even sat 
on the Judge's bench, which decreed the sentence of death upon the poor 
victim. The same happens to-day.* Likewise was adultery by the wife 
punished most severely; she was certain of the pillory, at least; but 
over the adultery of the husband the mantle of Christian charity was 
thrown. 

In Wuerzburg, during the Middle Ages, the keeper of women swore before 
the Magistrate: "To be true and good to the city, and to procure women." 
Similarly in Nuerenberg, Ulm, [Leipzig], Cologne, Frankfurt and elsewhere. 
In Ulm, where the "houses of women" were abolished in 1537, the guilds 
moved in 1551 that they be restored "in order to avoid worse disorders." 
Distinguished foreigners were provided with Giles dejoie at the 
expense of the city. When King Ladislaus entered Vienna in 1 452, the 
Magistrate sent to meet him a deputation of public girls, who, clad only 
in light gauze, revealed the handsomest shapes. At his entry into 
Brugges, the Emperor Charles V was likewise greeted by a deputation of 
naked girls. Such occurrences met not with objection in those days. 

Imaginative romancers, together with calculating people, have endeavored 
to represent the Middle Ages as particularly "moral," and animated with 
a veritable worship for woman. The period of the Minnes angers— from the 
twelfth to the fourteenth century— contributed in giving a color to the 
pretence. The knightly "Minnedienst" (service of love) which the French, 
Italian and German knights first became acquainted with among the 
Moriscos of Spain, is cited as evidence concerning the high degree of 
respect in which woman was held at that time. But there are several 
things to be kept in mind. In the first place, the knights constituted 
but a trifling percentage of the population, and, proportionately, the 
knights' women of the women in general; in the second place, only a very 
small portion of the knights exercised the so-called "Minnedienst;" 
thirdly, the true nature of this service is grossly misunderstood, or 
has been intentionally misrepresented. The age in which the 
"Minnedienst" flourished w r as at the same time the age of the grossest 
light-of-the-fist in Germany,— an age wiien all bonds of order w r ere 
dissolved; and the knights indulged themselves without restraint in 
waylaying of travelers, robbery and incendiarism. Such days of brutal 
force are not the days in wiiich mild and poetic sentiments are likely to 
prevail to any perceptible extent. The contrary is true. This period 
contributed to destroy whatever regard possibly existed for the female 
sex. The knights, both of country and town, consisted mainly of rough, 
dissolute fellows, whose principal passion, besides feuds and guzzling, 
w r as the unbridled gratification of sexual cravings. The chronicles of 
the time do not tire of telling about the deeds of rapine and violence, 

64 



that the nobility was guilty of, particularly in the country, but in the 
cities also, where, appearing in patrician role, the nobility held in 
its hands the city regiment, down to the thirteenth, and partly even in 
the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. Nor did the wronged have any 
means of redress; in the city, the squires (yunker) controlled the 
judges' bench; in the country, the landlord, invested with criminal 
jurisdiction, was the knight, the Abbot or the Bishop. Accordingly, it 
is a violent exaggeration that, amid such morals and customs, the 
nobility and rulers had a particular respect for their wives and 
daughters, and carried them on their hands as a sort of higher beings, 
let alone that they cultivated such respect for the wives and daughters 
of the townsmen and peasants, for whom both the temporal and the 
spiritual masters entertained and proclaimed contempt only. 

A very small minority of knights consisted of sincere worshippers of 
female beauty, but their worship was by no means Platonic; it pursued 
quite material ends. And these material ends were pursued by those also 
with whom Christian mysticism, coupled with natural sensuousness, made a 
unique combination. Even that harlequin among the worshippers of "lovely 
women," Ulrich von Lichtenstein, of laughable memory, remained Platonic 
only so long as he had to. At bottom the "Minnedienst" was the 
apotheosis of the best beloved— at the expense of the own wife; a sort 
of hetairism, cairied over into Middle Age Cliiistianity, as it existed 
in Greece at the time of Pericles. In point of fact, during the Middle 
Ages, the mutual seduction of one another's wives was a "Minnedienst" 
strongly in vogue among the knights, just the same as, in certain 
circles of our own bourgeoisie, similar performances are now repeated. 
[So] much for the romanticism of the Middle Ages and their regard for 
women. 

There can be no doubt that, in the open recognition of the pleasures of 
the senses, there lay in that age the acknowledgment that the natural 
impulses, implanted in every healthy and ripe human being, are entitled 
to be satisfied. In so far there lay in the demonstration a victory of 
vigorous nature over the asceticism of Christianity. On the other hand, 
it must be noted that the recognition and satisfaction fell to the share 
of only one sex, while the other sex, on the contrary, was treated as if 
it could not and should not have the same impulses; the slightest 
transgression of the laws of morality prescribed by man, was severely 
punished. The narrow and limited horizon, within which moved the citizen 
of the Middle Ages, caused him to adopt narrow and limited measures also 
with respect to the position of woman. And, as a consequence of 
continued oppression and peculiar education, woman herself has so 
completely adapted herself to her master's habits and system of thought, 
that she finds her condition natural and proper. 

Do we not know that there have been millions of slaves who found 

65 



slavery natural, and never would have freed themselves, had their 

liberators not risen from the midst of the class of the slave-holders? 

Did not Prussian peasants, when, as a result of the Stein laws, they 

were to be freed from serfdom, petition to be left as they were, 

"because who was to take care of them when they fell sick?" And is it 

not similarly with the modern Labor Movement? How many workingmen do not 

allow themselves to be influenced and led without a will of their own? 

The oppressed needs the stimulator and firer, because he lacks the 
independence and faculty for initiative. It was so with the modern 
proletarian movement; it is so also in the struggle for the emancipation 
of woman, which is intimately connected with that of the proletariat. 
Even in the instance of the comparatively favorably situated bourgeois 
of old, noble and clerical advocates broke the way open for him to 
conduct his battle for freedom. 

However numerous the shortcomings of the Middle Ages, there was then a 
healthy sensualism, that sprang from a rugged and happy native 
disposition among the people, and that Christianity was unable to 
suppress. The hypocritical prudery and bashfulness; the secret 
lustfulness, prevalent to-day, that hesitates and balks at calling 
things by their right name, and to speak about natural things in a 
natural way;— all that was foreign to the Middle Ages. Neither was that 
age familiar with the piquant double sense, in which, out of defective 
naturalness and out of a prudery that has become morality, things that 
may not be clearly uttered, are veiled, and are thereby rendered all the 
more harmful; such a language incites but does not satisfy; it suggests 
but does not speak out. Our social conversation, our novels and our 
theatres are full of these piquant equivoques,— and their effect is 
visible. This spiritualism, which is not the spiritualism of the 
transcendental philosopher, but that of the roue, and that hides 
itself behind the spiritualism of religion, has great power to-day. 

The healthy sensualism of the Middle Ages found in Luther its classic 
interpreter. We have here to do, not so much with the religious 
reformer, as with Luther the man. On the human side, Luther's robust 
primeval nature stepped forward unadulterated; it compelled him to 
express his appetite for love and enjoyment forcibly and without 
reserve. His position, as former Roman Catholic clergyman, had opened 
his eyes. By personal practice, so to speak, had he learned the 
unnaturalness of the life led by the monks and nuns. Hence the warmth 
with which he warred against clerical and monastic celibacy. His words 
hold good to this day, for all those who believe they may sin against 
nature, and imagine they can reconcile with their conceptions of 
morality and propriety, governmental and social institutions that 
prevent millions from fulfilling their natural mission. Luther says: 
"Woman, except as high and rare grace, can dispense with man as little 

66 



as she can with food, sleep, water and other natural wants. Conversely, 
also, neither can man dispense with woman. The reason is this: It is as 
deeply implanted in nature to beget children as to eat and drink. 
Therefore did God furnish the body with members, veins, discharges and 
all that is needed therefor. He who will resist this, and prevent its 
going as nature wills, what else does he but endeavor to resist nature's 
being nature, that fire burn, water wet, that man eat, drink or sleep?" 
And in his sermon on married life he says: "As little as it is in my 
power that I be not a man, just so little is it in your power to be 
without a man. For it is not a matter of free will or deliberation, but 
a necessary, natural matter that all that is male must have a wife, and 
what is female must have a husband." Luther did not speak in this 
energetic manner in behalf of married life and the necessity of sexual 
intercourse only; he also turns against the idea that marriage and 
Church have anything in common. In this he stood squarely on the ground 
of the olden days, which considered marriage an act of free will on the 
part of those who engaged in it, and that did not concern the Church. On 
this head he said: "Know, therefore, that marriage is an outside affair, 
as any other earthly act. The same as I am free to eat, drink, sleep, 
walk, ride, deal, speak and trade with a heathen, a Jew, a Turk or a 
heretic, likewise am I free to enter into and remain in wedlock with 
one of them. Turn your back upon the fool laws that forbid such a 
tiling.... A heathen is a man and woman, created by God in perfect form, 
as well as St. Peter and St. Paul and St. Luke; be then silent for a 
loose and false Christian that you are." Luther, like other Reformers, 
pronounced himself against all limitation of marriage, and he was for 
also allowing the re-union of divorced couples, against which the Church 
was up in arms. He said: "As to the manner in which marriage and divorce 
are to be conducted among us, I claim that it should be made the 
business of the jurists, and placed under the jurisdiction of earthly 
concerns, because marriage is but an earthly and outside matter." It was 
in keeping with this view that, not until the close of the seventeenth 
century, was marriage by the Church made obligatory under Protestantism. 
Until then so-called "conscience marriage" held good, i.e., the simple 
mutual obligation to consider each other man and wife, and to mean to 
live in wedlock. Such a marriage was considered by German law to be 
legally entered into. Luther even went so far that he conceded to the 
unsatisfied party— even if that be the woman— the right to seek 
satisfaction outside of the marriage bonds "in order to satisfy nature, 
which cannot be crossed."*' This conception of marriage is the same 
that prevailed in antiquity, and that came up later during the French 
Revolution. Luther here set up maxims that will arouse the strongest 
indignation of a large portion of our "respectable men and women," who, 
in their religious zeal, are so fond of appealing to him. In his 
treatise "On Married Life," 43 he says: "If an impotent man falls to 
the lot of a hearty woman, and she still cannot openly take another, and 
does not wish to marry again, she shall say unto her husband: 'Lo, dear 

67 



husband, thou shalt not be wronged by me. Thou hast deceived me and my 
young body, and hast therefore brought my honor and salvation into 
danger. There is no glory to God between us two. Grant me to cohabit 
secretly with thy brother or nearest friend, and thou shalt have the 
name, so that thy property come not to strange heirs; and allow thyself 
to be, in turn, willingly deceived by me, as thou did deceive me without 
thy wili." The husband, Luther goes on to show, is in duty bound to 
grant the request. "If he declines, then has she the right to run away 
from him to another, and to woo elsewhere. Conversely, if a woman 
declines to exercise the conjugal duty, her husband has the right to 
cohabit with another, only he should tell her so beforehand." 49 It 
will be seen that these are wonderfully radical, and, in the eyes of our 
days, so rich in hypocritical prudery, even downright "immoral" views, 
that the great Reformer develops. Luther, however, expressed only that 
which, at the time, was the popular view. 50 

The passages quoted from the writings and addresses of Luther on 
marriage, are of special importance for the reason that these views are 
in strong contradiction with those that prevail to-day in the Church. In 
the struggle that it latterly has had to conduct with the clerical 
fraternity, the Social Democracy can appeal with full right to Luther, 
who takes on the question of marriage a stand free from all prejudice. 

Luther and all the Reformers went even further in the marriage question, 
true enough, only for opportunist reasons, and out of complaisance 
towards the Princes whose strong support and permanent friendship they 
sought to secure and keep to the Reformation. The friendly Duke of 
Hessen, Philip I, had, besides his legitimate wife, a sweetheart, 
willing to yield to his wishes, but only under the condition that he 
marry her. It was a thorny problem. A divorce from the wife, in the 
absence of convincing reasons, would give great scandal; on the other 
hand, a marriage with two women at a time was an unheard of thing with a 
Christian Prince of modern days; it would give rise to no less a 
scandal. All this notwithstanding, Philip, in his passion, decided in 
favor of the latter step. The point was now to establish that the act 
did no violence to the Bible, and to secure the approval of the 
Reformers, especially of Luther and Melanchthon. The negotiations, set 
on foot by the Duke, began first with [Martin] Butzer, who declared himself in 
favor of the plan, and promised to win over Luther and Melanchthon. 
Butzer justified his opinion with the argument: To possess several wives 
at once was not against the evangelium. St. Paul, who said much upon the 
subject of who was not to inherit the kingdom of God, made no mention of 
those who had two wives. St. Paul, on the contrary, said "that a Bishop 
was to have but one wife, the same with his servants; hence, if it had 
been compulsory that every man have but one wife he would have so 
ordered, and forbidden a plurality of wives." Luther and Melanchthon 
joined this reasoning, and gave their assent to double marriages, after 

68 



the Duke's wife herself had consented to the marriage with the second 
wife under the condition "that he was to fulfil his marital duties 
towards her more than ever before." 51 The question of the 
justification of bigamy had before then— at the time when the issue was 
the consenting to the double marriage of Henry VIII of England— caused 
many a headache to Luther, as appears from a letter to the Chancellor of 
Saxony, Brink, dated January, 1524. Luther wrote to him that, in point 
of principle, he could not reject bigamy because it ran not counter to 
Holy Writ; 52 but that he held it scandalous when the same happened 
among Christians, "who should leave alone even things that are 
permissible." After the w r edding of the Duke, which actually took place 
in March, 1540, and in answ r er to a letter of acknowledgment from him, 
Luther wrote (April 1 0) : "That your Grace is happy on the score of our 
opinion, wliich we fain would see kept secret; else, even the rude 
peasants (in imitation of the Duke's example) might finally produce as 
strong, if not stronger, reasons, whereby w r e might then have much 
trouble on our hands." 

Upon Melanchthon, the consent to the double marriage of the Duke must 
have been less hard. Before that, he had written to Henry VIII "every 
Prince has the right to introduce polygamy in his domains." But the 
double marriage of the Duke made such a great and unpleasant sensation, 
that, in 1541, he circulated a treatise in which polygamy is defended as 
no transgression against Holy Writ. 53 People w r ere not then living in 
the ninth or twelfth century, when polygamy w r as tolerated without 
shocking society. Social conditions had very materially changed in the 
meantime; in a great measure the mark had had to yield to the power of 
the nobility and the clergy; it had even extensively disappeared, and 
w r as further uprooted after the unhappy issue of the Peasant Wars. 
Private property had become the general foundation of society. Beside 
the rural population, that cultivated the soil, a strong, self-conscious 
handicraft element had arisen, and w r as dominated by the interests of its 
own station. Commerce had assumed large dimensions, and had produced a 
merchant class, which, what with the splendor of its outward position 
and its w r ealth, aw r oke the envy and hostility of a nobility that w r as 
sinking ever deeper into poverty and licentiousness. The burghers' 
system of private property had triumphed everywhere, as w r as evidenced by 
the then universal introduction of the Roman law r ; the contrasts between 
the classes were palpable, and everywhere did they bump against one 
another. Monogamy became, under such conditions, the natural basis for 
the sexual relations; a step such as taken by the Duke of Hessen now did 
violence to the ruling morals and customs, which, after all, are but the 
form of expression of the economic conditions that happen at the time to 
prevail. On the other hand, society came to terms with prostitution, as 
a necessary accompaniment of monogamy, and an institution supplemental 
thereto;— and tolerated it. 



69 



In recognizing the gratification of the sexual impulses as a law of 
nature, Luther but uttered what the whole male population thought, and 
openly claimed for itself. He, however, also contributed— through the 
Reformation, which carried through the abolition of celibacy among the 
clergy, and the removal of the cloisters from Protestant 
territories— that to hundreds of thousands the opportunity was offered 
to do justice to nature's impulses under legitimate forms. True 
again,— [because of] the existing order of property, and to the legislation 
that flowed therefrom,— hundreds of thousands of others continued to 
remain excluded. The Reformation was the first protest of the 
large-propertied bourgeois or capitalist class, then rising into being, 
against the restrictions imposed by feudalism in Church, state and 
society. It strove after freedom from the narrow bonds of the guild, the 
court and the judiciary; it strove after the centralization of the 
state, after the abolition of the numerous seats of idlers, the 
monasteries; and it demanded their use for practical production. The 
movement aimed at the abolition of the feudal form of property and 
production; it aimed at placing in its stead the free property of the 
capitalist, i.e., in the stead of the existing system of mutual 
protection in small and disconnected circles, there was to be unchained 
the free individual struggle of individual efforts in the competition 
for property. 

On the religious held, Luther was the representative of these bourgeois 
aspirations. When he took a stand for the freedom of marriage, the 
question could not be sirrrply about chic marriage, which was realized in 
Germany only in our own age through the civil laws and the legislation 
therewith connected,— freedom to move, freedom of pursuit, and freedom 
of dorrricile. In how far the position of woman was thereby improved will 
be shown later. Meanwhile things had not matured so far at the tirrre of 
the Reformation. If, through the regulations of the Reformation rrrarry 
were afforded the possibility to rrrarry, the severe persecutions that 
followed later hampered the freedom of sexual intercourse. The Roman 
Catholic clergy having in its tirrre displayed a certain degree of 
tolerance, and even laxity, towards sexual excesses, now the Protestant 
clergy, once itself was provided for, raged all the more violently 
against the practice. War was declared upon the public "houses of 
women;" they were closed as "Holes of Satan;" the prostitutes were 
persecuted as "daughters of the devil;" and every woman who slipped was 
placed on the pillory as a specimen of all sinfulness. 

Out of the once hearty srrrall property-holding bourgeois of the Middle 
Ages, who lived and let live, now becarrre a bigoted, straight-laced, 
dark-browed maw-worm, who "saved-up," to the end that his large 
property-holding bourgeois successor might live all the more lustily in 
the nineteenth century, and might be able to dissipate all the more. The 
respectable citizen, with his stiff necktie, his narrow horizon and his 

70 



severe code of morals, was the prototype of society. The legitimate 
wife, who had not been particularly edified by the sensuality of the 
Middle Ages, tolerated in Roman Catholic days, was quite at one with the 
Puritanical spirit of Protestantism. But other circumstances supervened, 
that, affecting, as they did, unfavorably the general condition of 
things in Germany, joined in exercising in general an unfavorable 
influence upon the position of woman. 

The revolution— effected in production, money and trade, particularly as 
regarded Germany,— [because of] the discovery of America and the sea-route to 
the East Indies, produced, first of all, a great reaction on the social 
domain. Germany ceased to be the center of European traffic and 
commerce. Spain, Portugal, Holland, England, took successively the 
leadership, the latter keeping it until our own days. German industry 
and German commerce began to decline. At the same time, the religious 
Reformation had destroyed the political unity of the nation. The 
Reformation became the cloak under which the German principalities 
sought to emancipate themselves from the Imperial power. In their turn, 
the Princes brought the power of the nobility under their own control, 
and, in order to reach this end all the more easily, favored the cities, 
not a few of which, in sight of the ever more troubled times, placed 
themselves, of their own free will, under the rule of the Princes. The 
final effect was that the bourgeois or capitalist class, alarmed at the 
financial decline of its trade, raised ever higher barriers to protect 
itself against unpleasant competition. The ossification of conditions 
gained ground; and with it the impoverishment of the masses. 

Later, the Reformation had for a consequence the calling forth of the 
religious wars and persecutions— always, of course, as cloaks for the 
political and economic purposes of the Princes— that, with short 
interruptions, raged throughout Germany for over a century, and ended 
with the country's complete exhaustion, at the close of the Thirty 
Years' War in 1648. Germany had become an immense held of corpses and 
ruins; whole territories and provinces lay waste; hundreds of cities, 
thousands of villages had been partially or wholly burnt down; many of 
them have since disappeared forever from the face of the earth. In other 
places the population had sunk to a third, a fourth, a fifth, even to an 
eighth and tenth part. Such was the case, for instance, with cities like 
Neurenberg, and with the whole of Franconia. And now, at the hour of 
extreme need, and with the end in view r of providing the depopulated 
cities and villages as quickly as possible with an increased number of 
people, the drastic measure was resorted to of "raising the law," and 
allowing a man two wives. The w r ars had carried off the men; ofwomen 
there w r as an excess. On February 14, 1650, the Congress of Franconia, 
held in Nuerenberg, adopted the resolution that "men under sixty years 
of age shall not be admitted to the monasteries;" furthermore, it 
ordered "the priests and curates, if not ordained, and the canons of 

71 



religious establishments, shall many;" "moreover every male shall be 
allowed to marry two wives; and all and each males are earnestly 
reminded, and shall be often warned, from the pulpit also, to so 
comport themselves in this matter; and care shall be taken that he shall 
fully and with becoming discretion diligently endeavor, so that, as a 
married man, to whom is granted that he take two wives, he not only take 
proper care of both wives, but avoid all misunderstanding among them." 
At that time, we see, matters that are to-day kept under strictest 
secrecy, were often discussed as of course from the pulpit itself. 

But not commerce alone was at a standstill. Traffic and industry had 
been extensively ruined during this protracted period; they could 
recover only by little and little. A large part of the population had 
become wild and demoralized, disused to all orderly occupations. During 
the wars, it was the robbing, plundering, despoiling and murdering 
armies of mercenaries, which crossed Germany from one end to the other, 
that burned and knocked down friend and foe alike; after the wars, it 
was countless robbers, beggars and swarms of vagabonds that threw the 
population into fear and terror, and impeded and destroyed commerce and 
traffic. For the female sex, in particular, a period of deep suffering 
had broken. Contempt for woman had made great progress during the times 
of license. The general lack of work weighed heaviest on their 
shoulders; by the thousands did these women, like the male vagabonds, 
infest the roads and woods, and filled the poorhouses and prisons of the 
Princes and the cities. On top of all these sufferings came the forcible 
ejectment of numerous peasant families by a land-hungry nobility. 

Compelled, since the Reformation, ever more to bend before the might of 
the Princes, and rendered ever more dependent upon these through court 
offices and military posts, the nobility now sought to recoup itself 
double and threefold with the robbery of peasant estates for the injury 
it had sustained at the hand of the Princes. The Reformation offered the 
Princes the desired pretext to appropriate the rich Church estates, 
which they swallowed in innumerable acres of land. The Elector August of 
Saxony, for instance, had turned not less than three hundred clergy 
estates from their original purpose, up to the close of the sixteenth 
century. 51 Similarly did his brothers and cousins, the other 
Protestant Princes, and, above all, the Princes of Brandenburg. The 
nobility only imitated the example by bagging peasant estates, that had 
lost their" owners, by ejecting free as well as serf peasants from house 
and home, and enriching themselves with the goods of these. To this 
particular end, the miscarried peasant revolts of the sixteenth century 
furnished the best pretext. After the first attempts had succeeded, 
never after were reasons wanting to proceed further in equally violent 
style. With the aid of all manner of chicaneries, vexations and 
twistings of the law— whereto the in-the-meantime naturalized Roman law 
lent a convenient handle— the peasants were bought out at the lowest 

72 



prices, or they were driven from their property in order to round up the 
estates of noblemen. Whole villages, the peasant homes of as much as 
half a province, were in this way wiped out. Thus— so as to give a few 
illustrations— out of 12,543 peasant homestead appanages of knightly 
houses, which Mecklenburg still possessed at the time of the Thirty 
Years' War, there were, in 1848, only 1,213 left. In Pommerania, since 
1628, not less than 12,000 peasant homesteads disappeared. The change in 
peasant economy, that took place in the course of the seventeenth 
century, was a further incentive for the expropriation of the peasant 
homesteads, especially to turn the last rests of the commons into the 
property of the nobility. The system of rotation of crops was 
introduced. It provided for a rotation in cultivation within given 
spaces of time. Corn lands were periodically turned into meadows. This 
favored the raising of cattle, and made possible the reduction of the 
number of farm-hands. The crowd of beggars and tramps grew ever larger, 
and thus one decree followed close upon the heels of another to reduce, 
by the application of the severest punishments, the number of beggars 
and vagabonds. 

In the cities matters lay no better than in the country districts. 
Before then, women were active in very many trades in the capacity of 
working women as well as of employers. There were, for instance, female 
furriers in Frankfurt and in the cities of Sleswig; bakers, in the 
cities of the middle Rhine; embroiderers of coats of arms and 
beltmakers, in Cologne and Strassburg; strap-cutters, in Bremen; 
clothing-cutters in Frankfurt; tanners in Nuerenberg; gold spinners and 
beaters in Cologne. 55 Women were now crowded back. The abandonment of 
the pompous Roman Catholic worship alone, [because of] the Protestantizing of 
a large portion of Germany, either injured severely a number of trades, 
especially the artistic ones, or destroyed them altogether; and it was 
in just these trades that many working women were occupied. As, 
moreover, it ever happens when a social state of things is moving to its 
downfall, the wrongest methods are resorted to, and the evil is thereby 
aggravated. The sad economic condition of most of the German nations 
caused the decimated population to appear as overpopulation, and 
contributed greatly towards rendering a livelihood harder to earn, and 
towards prohibitions of marriage. 

Not until the eighteenth century did a slow improvement of matters set 
in. The absolute Princes had the liveliest interest, with the view of 
raising the standard abroad of their rule, to increase the population of 
their territories. They needed this, partly in order to obtain soldiers 
for their wars, partly also to gain taxpayers, who were to raise the 
sums needed either for the army, or for the extravagant indulgences of 
the court, or for both. Following the example of Louis XIV of France, 
the majority of the then extraordinarily numerous princely courts of 
Germany displayed great lavishness in all manner of show and tinsel. 

73 



This was especially the case in the matter of the keeping of 
mistresses, which stood in inverse ratio to the size and capabilities of 
the realms and realmlets. The history of these courts during the 
eighteenth century belongs to the ugliest chapters of history. Libraries 
are filled with the chronicles of the scandals of that era. One 
potentate sought to surpass the other in hollow pretentiousness, insane 
lavishness and expensive military fooleries. Above all, the most 
incredible was achieved in the way of female excesses. It is hard to 
determine which of the many German courts the palm should be assigned to 
for extravagance and for a life that vitiated public morals. To-day it 
was this, to-morrow that court; no German state escaped the plague. The 
nobility aped the Princes, and the citizens in the residence cities aped 
the nobility. If the daughter of a citizen's family had the luck to 
please a gentleman high at court, perchance the Serenissimus himself, in 
nineteen cases out of twenty she felt highly blessed by such favor, and 
her family was ready to hand her over for a mistress to the nobleman or 
the Prince. The same was the case with most of the noble families if one 
of their daughters found favor with the Prince. Characterlessness and 
shamelessness ruled over wide circles. As bad as the worst stood matters 
in the two German capitals, Vienna and Berlin. In the Capua of Germany, 
Vienna, true enough, the strict Maria Theresa reigned through a large 
portion of the century, but she was impotent against the doings of a 
rich nobility, steeped in sensuous pleasures, and of the citizen circles 
that emulated the nobility. With the Chastity Commissions that she 
established, and in the aid of which an extensive spy-system was 
organized, she partly provoked bitterness, and partly made herself 
laughable. The success was zero. In frivolous Vienna, sayings like these 
made the rounds during the second half of the eighteenth century: "You 
must love your neighbor like yourself, that is to say, you must love 
your neighbor's wife as much as your own;" or "If the wife goes to the 
right, the husband may go to the left: if she takes an attendant, he 
takes a lady friend." In how frivolous a vein marriage and adultery were 
then taken, transpires from a letter of the poet Ew[ald] Christian] von Kleist, 
addressed in 1751 to his friend Gleim. Among other things he there says: 
"You are already informed on the adventure of the Mark-Graf Heinrich. He 
sent his wife to his country seat and intends to divorce her because he 
found the Prince of Holstein in bed with her.... The Mark-Graf might 
have done better had he kept quiet about the affair, instead of now 
causing half Berlin and all the world to talk about him. Moreover, such 
a natural tiling should not be taken so ill, all the more when, like the 
Mark-Graf, one is not so waterproof himself. Mutual repulsion, we all 
know, is unavoidable in married life: all husbands and wives are 
perforce unfaithful, [because of] their illusions concerning other estimable 
persons. How can that be punished that one is forced top'' On Berlin 
conditions, the English Ambassador, Lord Malmsbury, wrote in 1772: 
"Total corruption of morals pervades both sexes of all classes, whereto 
must be added the indigence, caused, partly through the taxes imposed by 

74 



the present King, partly through the love of luxury that they took from 
his grandfather. The men lead a life of excesses with limited means, 
while the women are harpies, wholly bereft of shame. They yield 
themselves to him who pays best. Tenderness and true love are things 
unknown to them." 56 

Things were at their worst in Berlin under Frederick II, who reigned 
from 1786 to 1796. He led with the worst example; and his court 
chaplain, Zoellner, even lowered himself to the point of marrying the 
King to the latter' s mistress, Julie von Boss, as a second wife, and as 
she soon thereupon died in childbed, Zoellner again consented to many 
the King to the Duchess Sophie of Doenhoff as a second wife by the side 
of the Queen. 

More soldiers and more taxpayers was the leading desire of the Princes. 
Louis XIV, after whose death France was entirely impoverished in money 
and men, set up pensions for parents who had ten children, and the 
pension was raised when they reached twelve children. His General, the 
Marshal of Saxony, even made to him the proposition to allow marriages 
oiilyforthe term of five yeais. Fifty years later, in 1741, Frederick 
the Great wrote, "I look upon men as a herd of deer in the zoological 
garden of a great lord, their only duty is to populate and fill the 
park." 57 

Later, he extensively depopulated his "deer park" with his wars, and 
then took pains to "populate" it again with foreign immigration. 

The German multiplicity of states, that was in fullest bloom in the 
eighteenth century, presented a piebald map of the most different social 
conditions and legislative codes. While in the minority of the states 
efforts were made to improve the economic situation by promoting new 
industries, by making settlement easier and by changing the marriage 
laws in the direction of facilitating wedlock, the majority of the 
states and statelets remained true to their backward views, and 
intensified the unfavorable conditions of marriage and settlement for 
both men and women. Seeing, however, that human nature will not allow 
itself to be suppressed, all impediments and vexations notwithstanding, 
concubinage sprang up in large quantity, and the number of illegitimate 
children was at no time as large as in these days when the "paternal 
regiment" of the absolute Princes reigned in "Christian simplicity." 

The married woman of citizen rank lived in strict seclusion. The number 
of her tasks and occupations was so large that, as a conscientious 
housewife, she had to be at her post early and late in order to fulfil 
her duties, and even that was possible to her only with the aid of her 
daughters. Not only were there to be filled those daily household duties 
which to-day, too, the small middle class housewife has to attend to, 

75 



but a number of others also, which the housewife of to-day is freed from 
through modern development. She had to spin, weave, bleach and sew the 
linen and clothes, prepare soap and candles, brew beer,— in short, she 
was the veriest Cinderella: her only recreation was Sunday's church. 
Marriage was contracted only within the same social circles; the 
strongest and most ludicrous spirit of caste dominated all relations, 
and tolerated no transgression. The daughters were brought up in the 
same spirit; they were held under strict home seclusion; their mental 
education did not go beyond the bounds of the narrowest home relations. 
On top of this, an empty and hollow formality, meant as a substitute for 
education and culture, turned existence, that of woman in particular, 
into a veritable treadmill. Thus the spirit of the Reformation 
degenerated into the worst pedantry, that sought to smother the natural 
desires of man, together with his pleasures in life under a confused 
mass of rules and usages that affected to be "worthy," but that benumbed 
the soul. 

Gradually, however, an economic change took place, that first seized 
Western Europe and then reached into Germany also. The discovery of 
America, the doubling of the Cape of Good Hope, the opening of the sea 
route of the East Indies, the further discoveries that hinged on these, 
and finally, the circumnavigation of the earth, revolutionized the life 
and views of the most advanced nations of Europe. The unthought-of rapid 
expansion of the world's commerce, called to life through the opening of 
ever newer markets for European industry and products, revolutionized 
the old system of handicraft. Manufacture arose, and thence flowed large 
production. Germany— so long held back in her material development by 
her religious wars and her political disintegration, which religious 
differences promoted,— was finally dragged into the stream of the 
general progress. In several quarters, large production developed under 
the form of manufacture: flax and wool-spinning and weaving, the 
manufacture of cloth, mining, the manufacture of iron, glass and 
porcelain, transportation, etc. Fresh labor power, ferrrale included, came 
into demand. But this newly rising form of industry met with the most 
violent opposition on the part of the craftsmen, ossified in the guild 
and medieval corporation system, who furiously fought every change in 
the method of production, and saw therein a mortal enemy. The French 
Revolution supervened. While casting aside the older order in France, 
the Revolution also carried into Germany a fresh current of air, which 
the old order could not for long resist. The French invasion hastened 
the downfall,— this side of the Rhine also— of the old, worn-out 
system. Whatever attempt was made, during the period of re-action after 
1815, to turn back the wheels of time, the New had grown too strong, it 
finally remained victorious. 

The rise of machinery, the application of the natural sciences to the 
process of production, the new roads of commerce and traffic burst 

76 



asunder the last vestiges of the old system. The guild privileges, the 
personal restrictions, the mark and jurisdictional rights, together with 
all that thereby hung, walked into the lumber room. The strongly 
increased need of labor-power did not rest content with the men, it 
demanded woman also as a cheaper article. The conditions that had become 
untenable, had to fall; and they fell. The time thereto,— long 
wished-for by the newly risen class, the bourgeoisie or capitalist 
class— arrived the moment Germany gained her political unity. The 
capitalist class demanded imperiously the unhampered development of all 
the social forces; it demanded this for the benefit of its own 
capitalist interests, that, at that time, and, to a certain degree, were 
also the interests of the large majority. Thus came about the liberty of 
trade, the liberty of emigration, the removal of the barriers to 
marriage,— in short, that whole system of legislation that designates 
itself "liberal." The old-time reactionists expected from these measures 
the smash-up of morality. The late Adolph Ketteler of Mainz moaned, 
already in 1865, accordingly, before the new social legislation had 
become general, "that the tearing down of the existing barriers to 
matrimony meant the dissolution of wedlock, it being now possible for 
the married to run away from each other at will." A pretty admission 
that the moral bonds of modern marriage are so weak, that only 
compulsion can be relied on to hold the couple together. 

The circumstance, on the one hand, that the now naturally more numerous 
marriages effected a rapid increase of population, and, on the other, 
that the gigantically developing industry of the new era brought on many 
ills, never known of before, caused the spectre of "overpopulation" to 
rise anew. Conservative and liberal economists pull since then the same 
string. We shall show what this fear of so-called overpopulation means; 
we shall trace the feared phenomenon back to its legitimate source. 
Among those who suffer of the overpopulation fear, and who demand the 
restriction of freedom to many, especially for workingmen, belong 
particularly Prof. Ad[olf] Wagner. According to him, workingmen many too 
early, in comparison with the middle class. He, along with others of 
this opinion, forget that the male members of the higher class, marry 
later only in order to wed "according to their station in life," a thing 
they can not do before they have obtained a certain position. For this 
abstinence, the males of the higher classes indemnify themselves with 
prostitution. Accordingly, it is to prostitution that the working class 
are referred, the moment marriage is made difficult for, or, under 
certain circumstances, is wholly forbidden to, them. But, then, let 
none wonder at the results, and let him not raise an outcry at the 
"decline of morality," if the women also, who have the same desires as 
the men, seek to satisfy in illegitimate relations the promptings of the 
strongest impulse of nature. Moreover, the views of Wagner are at 
fisticuffs with the interests of the capitalist class, which, oddly 
enough, shares his views: it needs many "hands," so as to own cheap 

77 



labor-power that may fit it out for competition in the world's market. 
With such petty notions and measures, born of a near-sighted 
philistinism, the gigantic growing ills of the day are not to be healed. 



78 



PART II 

WOMAN IN THE PRESENT 



79 



CHAPTER I. 

SEXUAL INSTINCTS, WEDLOCK, CHECKS 
AND OBSTRUCTIONS TO MARRIAGE. 

Plato thanked the gods for eight favors bestowed upon him. As the first, 
he took it that they had granted him to be born a freeman, and not a 
slave; the second was that he was created a man, and not a woman. A 
similar thought finds utterance in the morning prayer of the Jews. They 
pray: "Blessed be Thou, our God and Lord of Hosts, who hast not created 
me a woman;" the Jewish women, on the other hand, pray at the 
corresponding place: " who hast created me after thy will." The 
contrast in the position of the sexes can find no more forcible 
expression than it does in the saying of Plato, and in the different 
wording of the prayer among the Jews. The male is the real being, the 
master of the female. With the views of Plato and the Jews, the larger 
part of men agree, and many a woman also wishes that she had been born a 
man and not a woman. In this view lies reflected the condition of the 
female sex. 

Wholly irrespective of the question whether woman is oppressed as a 
female proletarian, as sex she is oppressed in the modern world of 
private property. A number of checks and obstructions, unknown to man, 
exist for her, and hem her in at every step. Much that is allowed to man 
is forbidden to her; a number of social rights and privileges, enjoyed 
by the former, are, if exercised by her, a blot or a crime. She suffers 
both as a social and a sex entity, and it is hard to say in which of the 
two respects she suffers more. 

Of all the natural impulses human beings are instinct with, along with 
that of eating and drinking, the sexual impulse is the strongest. The 
impulse to procreate the species is the most powerful expression of the 
"Will to Live." It is implanted most strongly in every normally 
developed human being. Upon maturity, its satisfaction is an actual 
necessity for man's physical and mental health. Luther was perfectly 
right when he said: "He who would resist the promptings of nature, and 
prevent their going as nature wills and must, what else does he but 
endeavor to resist nature's being nature, that fire burn, water wet, 
that man eat, drink or sleep?" These are words that should be graven in 
granite over the doors of our churches, in which the "sinful flesh" is 
so diligently preached against. More strikingly no physician or 
physiologist can describe the necessity for the satisfaction of the 
craving for love on the part of a healthy being,— a craving that finds 
its expression in sexual intercourse. 

It is a commandment of the human being to itself— a commandment that it 
must obey if it wishes to develop normally and in health— that it 

80 



neglect the exercise of no member of its body, deny gratification to no 
natural impulse. Each member must fill the function, that it is intended 
for by nature, on penalty of atrophy and disease. The laws of the 
physical development of man must be studied and observed, the same as 
those of mental development. The mental activity of the human being is 
the expression of the physiologic composition of its organs. The 
complete health of the former is intimately connected with the health of 
the latter. A disturbance of the one inevitably has a disturbing effect 
upon the other. Nor do the so-called animal desires take lower rank than 
the so-called mental ones. One set and the other are effects of the 
identical combined organism: the influence of the two upon each other is 
mutual and continuous. This holds good for man as for woman. 

It follows that, the knowledge of the properties of the sexual organs is 
just as needful as that of the organs which generate mental activity; 
and that man should bestow upon the cultivation of both an equal share 
of care. He should realize that organs and impulses, found implanted in 
every human being, and that constitute a very essential part of his 
nature, aye, that, at certain periods of his life control him 
absolutely, must not be objects of secrecy, of false shame and utter 
ignorance. It follows, furthermore, that a knowledge of the physiology 
and anatomy of the sexual organs, together with their functions, should 
be as general among men and women as any other branch of knowledge. 
Equipped with an accurate knowledge of our physical make-up, we would 
look upon many a condition in life with eyes different from those we now 
do. The question of removing existing evils would then, of itself, force 
itself upon those before whom society, to-day, passes by in silence and 
solemn bashfulness, notwithstanding these evils command attention within 
the precincts of every family. In all other matters, knowledge is held a 
virtue, the worthiest and most beautiful aim of human endeavor— only not 
knowledge in such matters that are in closest relation with the essence 
and health of our own Ego, as w r ell as the basis of all social 
development. 

Kant says: "Man and woman only jointly constitute the complete being: 
one sex supplements the other." Schopenhauer declares: "The sexual 
impulse is the fullest utterance of the will to live, hence it is the 
concentration of all will-pow r er;" again: "The affirmative declaration of 
the will in favor of life is concentrated in the act of generation, and 
that is its most decisive expression." In accord therewith says 
Mainlaender: "The center of gravity of human life lies in the sexual 
instinct: it alone secures life to the individual, which is that which 
above all else it w r ants.... To nothing else does man devote greater 
earnestness than to the w r ork of procreation, and for the care of none 
other does he compress and concentrate the intensity of his will so 
demonstratively as for the act of procreation." Finally, and before all 
of these, Buddha said: "The sexual instinct is sharper than the hook 

81 



wild elephants are tamed with; it is hotter than flames; it is like an 
arrow, shot into the spirit of man." 58 

Such being the intensity of the sexual impulse, it is no wonder that 
sexual abstinence at the age of maturity affects the nervous system and 
the whole organism of man, with one sex as well as the other, in such a 
manner that it often leads to serious disturbances and manias; under 
certain conditions even to insanity and death. True enough, the sexual 
instinct does not assert itself with equal violence in all natures, and 
much can be done towards curbing it by education and self-control, 
especially by avoiding the excitation resulting upon certain 
conversations and reading. It is thought that, in general, the impulse 
manifests itself lighter with women than with men, and that the 
irritation is less potent with the former. It is even claimed that, with 
woman, there is a certain repugnance for the sexual act. The minority is 
small of those with whom physiologic and psychologic dispositions and 
conditions engender such a difference. "The union of the sexes is one of 
the great laws of living nature; man and woman are subject to it the 
same as all other creatures, and can not transgress it, especially at a 
ripe age, without their organism suffering more or less in 
consequence." 59 Debay quotes among the diseases, caused by the 
inactivity of the sexual organs, satyriasis, nymphomania and hysteria; 
and he adds that celibacy exercises upon the intellectual powers, 
especially with woman, a highly injurious effect. On the subject of the 
harmfulness of sexual abstinence by woman, Busch says: 60 "Abstinence 
has in all ages been considered particularly harmful to woman; indeed it 
is a fact that excess, as well as abstinence, affects the female 
organism equally harmfully, and the effects show themselves more 
pronouncedly and intensively than with the male organism." 

It may, accordingly, be said that man— be the being male or female— is 
complete in the measure in which, both as to organic and spiritual 
culture, the impulses and manifestations of life utter themselves in the 
sexes, and in the measure that they assume character and expression. 
Each sex of itself reached its highest development. "With civilized 
man," says Klenke in his work "Woman as Wife," "the compulsion of 
procreation is placed under the direction of the moral principle, and 
that is guided by reason." This is true. Nevertheless, it were an 
impossible task, even with the highest degree of freedom, wholly to 
silence the imperative command for the preservation of the species,— a 
command that nature planted in the normal, organic expression of the 
both sexes. Where healthy individuals, male or female, have failed in 
their life-time to honor this duty towards nature, it is not with them 
an instance of die free exercise of the will, even when so given out, 
or when, in self-deception, it is believed to be such. It is the result 
of social obstacles, together with the consequences wliich follow in 
their wake; they restricted the right of nature, they allowed the 

82 



organs to wilt; allowed the stamp of decay and of sexual vexation— both 
in point of appearance and of character— to be placed upon the whole 
organism; and, finally, brought on— through nervous distempers— diseased 
inclinations and conditions both of body and of mind. The man becomes 
feminine, the woman masculine in shape and character. The sexual 
contrast not having reached realization in the plan of nature, each 
human being remained one-sided, never reached its supplement, never 
touched the acme of its existence. In her work, "The Moral Education of 
the Young in Relation to Sex," Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell says: "The sexual 
impulse exists as an indispensable condition of life, and as the basis 
of society. It is the greatest force in human nature. Often undeveloped, 
not even an object of thought, but none the less the central Ere of 
life, this inevitable instinct is the natural protector against any 
possibility of extinction." 

Science agrees, accordingly, with the opinion of the philosophers, and 
with Luther's healthy common sense. It follows that every human being 
has, not merely the right, but also the duty to satisfy the instincts, 
that are intimately connected with its inmost being, that, in fact, 
imply existence itself. Hindered therein, rendered impossible to him 
through social institutions or prejudices, the consequence is that man 
is checked in the development of his being, is left to a stunted life 
and retrogression. What the consequences thereof are, our physicians, 
hospitals, insane asylums and prisons can tell,— to say nothing of the 
thousands of tortured family lives. In a book that appeared in [Leipzig], 
the author is of the opinion: "The sexual impulse is neither moral nor 
immoral; it is merely natural, like hunger and thirst: nature knows 
nothing of morals;" 61 nevertheless bourgeois society is far from a 
general acceptance of this maxim. 

The opinion finds wide acceptance among physicians and physiologists 
that even a defectively equipped marriage is better than celibacy. 
Experience agrees therewith. In Bavaria there were, in 1858, not less 
than 4,899 lunatics, 2,576 (53 per cent.) of them men, 2,323 (47 per 
cent.) women. The men were, accordingly, more strongly represented than 
the women. Of the whole number, however, the unmairied of both sexes 
ran up to 81 per cent., the married only to 17 per cent., while of 2 per 
cent, the conjugal status was unknown. As a mitigation of the shocking 
disproportion between the unmarried and the married, the circumstance 
may be taken into consideration that a not small number of the unmairied 
were insane from early childhood. In Hanover, in the year 1856, there 
was one lunatic to every 457 unmarried, 564 widowed, 1,316 married 
people. Most strikingly is the effect of unsatisfied sexual relations 
shown in the number of suicides among men and women. In general, the 
number of suicides is in all countries considerably higher among men 
than among women. To every 1,000 female suicides there were in:[62] 62 



83 



England from 1872-76 2,861 men 

Sweden " 1870-74 3,310 " 

Franca " 1871*78 , .....3,898 - 

Italy " 1872-77 4,000 " 

Prussia " 1871-78.. - 4,239 ■ 

Austria " 1873-78 4,568 ■ 



But between the ages of 21 and 30, the figures for female suicides is 
in all Euiopean countries higher than for males, due, as Oettingen 
assumes, to sexual causes. In Prussia the percentages of suicides 
between the ages of 21 to 30 were on an average: 

Years. Males, Female*. 

18*9-72 15.8 21.4 

1873-78 15J Sl-5 



In Saxony there were to every 1,000 suicides between the ages of 21 to 
30 these averages: 



Years. Males. Females. 

1854 14.95 18.64 

1868 14.71 18.70 



For widowed and divorced people also the percentage of suicides is 

larger than the average. In Saxony there are seven times as many 

suicides among divorced males, and three times as many among divorced 

females, as the average of suicides for males and females respectively. 

Again, suicide is more frequent among divorced and widowed men and women 

when they are childless. Of 491 widowed suicides in Prussia (119 males 

and 372 females) 353 were childless. 

Taking into further consideration that, among the unmarried women, who 
are driven to suicide between the ages of 21 and 30, many a one is to be 
found, who takes her life by reason of being betrayed, or because she 
can not bear the consequences of a "slip," the fact remains that sexual 
reasons play a decided role in suicide at this age. Among female 
suicides, the figure is large also for those between the ages of 16 to 
20, and the fact is probably likewise traceable to unsatisfied sexual 
instinct, disappointment in love, secret pregnancy, or betrayal. On the 
subject of the women of our days as sexual beings, Professor V. 
Krafft-Ebing expresses himself: "A not-to-be-underrated source of 
insanity with woman lies in her social position. Woman, by nature more 
prone than man to sexual needs, at least in the ideal sense of the term, 
knows no honorable means of gratifying the need other than marriage. At 
the same time marriage offers her the only support. Through unnumbered 
generations her character has been built in this direction. Already the 

84 



little girl plays mother with her doll. Modern life, with its demands 
upon culture, offers ever slighter prospects of gratification through 
marriage. This holds especially with the upper classes, among whom 
marriage is contracted later and more rarely. While man— as the 
stronger, and thanks to his greater intellectual and physical powers, 
together with his social position— supplies himself easily with sexual 
gratification, or, taken up with some occupation, that engages all his 
energies, easily finds an equivalent, these paths are closed to single 
women. This leads, in the first place, consciously or unconsciously, to 
dissatisfaction with herself and the w r orld, to morbid brooding. For a 
wiiile, perhaps, relief is sought in religion; but in vain. Out of 
religious enthusiasm, there spring with or without masturbation, a host 
of nervous diseases, among wiiich hysteria and insanity are not rare. 
Only thus is the fact explainable that insanity among single women 
occurs with greatest frequency between the ages of 25 and 35, that is to 
say, the time wiien the bloom of youth, and, along therewith, hope 
vanishes; wiiile with men, insanity occurs generally between the ages of 
35 and 50, the season of the strongest efforts in the struggle for 
existence. 

"It certainly is no accident that, hand in hand with increasing 

celibacy, the question of the emancipation of woman has come ever more 

on the order of the day. I w r ould have the question looked upon as a 

danger signal, set up by the social position of woman in modern 

society— a position that grow r s ever more unbearable, [because of] increasing 

celibacy; I w r ould have it looked upon as the danger signal of a 

justified demand, made upon modern society, to furnish woman some 

equivalent for that to wiiich she is assigned by nature, and wiiich modern 

social conditions partly deny her." 63 

And Dr. H. Plotz, in his w r ork, "Woman in nature and Ethnography,"" 
says in the course of his explanation of the results of migratified 
sexual instincts upon unmarried women: "It is in the highest degree 
noteworthy, not for the physician only, but also for the anthropologist, 
that there is an effective and never-failing means to check this process 
of decay (with old maids), but even to cause the lost bloom to return, 
if not in all its former splendor yet in a not insignificant 
degree,— pity only that our social conditions allow, or make its 
application possible only in rare instances. The means consist in 
regular and systematic sexual intercourse. The sight is not infrequent 
with girls, wiio lost their bloom, or were not far from the withering 
point, yet, the opportunity to many having been offered them, that, 
shortly after marriage, their shape began to round up again, the roses 
to return to their cheeks, and their eyes to recover their one-time 
brightness. Mairiage is, accordingly, the true fountain of youth for 
the female sex. Thus nature has her firm law r s, that implacably demand 
their dues. No 'vita praeter naturam,' no unnatural life, no attempt at 

85 



accommodation to incompatible conditions of life, passes without leaving 
noticeable traces of degeneration, upon the animal, as well as upon the 
human organism." 

As to the effect that marriage and celibacy exercise upon the mind, the 
following figures furnish testimony. In 1882, there were in Prussia, per 
10,000 inhabitants of the same conjugal status, 33.2 unmarried male and 
29.3 female lunatics, while the percentage of the married ones was 9.5 
for men, and 9.5 for females, and of the widowed, 32.1 males, and 25.6 
females. Social conditions can not be considered healthy, that hinder a 
normal satisfaction of the natural instincts, and lead to evils like 
those just mentioned. 

The question then rises: Has modern society met the demands for a 
natural life, especially as concerns the female sex? If the question is 
answered in the negative, this other rises: Can modern society meet the 
demands? If both questions must be answered in the negative, then this 
third arises: How can these demands be met? 

"Marriage and the family are the foundation of the state; consequently, 
he who attacks marriage and the family attacks society and the state, 
and undermines both"— thus ciy the defenders of the present order. 
Unquestionably, monogamous marriage, which flows from the bourgeois 
system of production and property, is one of the most important 
cornerstones of bourgeois or capitalist society; whether, however, such 
marriage is in accord with natural wants and with a healthy development 
of human society, is another question. We shall prove that the marriage, 
founded upon bourgeois property relations, is more or less a marriage by 
compulsion, which leads numerous ills in its train, and which fails in 
its purpose quite extensively, if not altogether. We shall show r , 
furthermore, that it is a social institution, beyond the reach of 
millions, and is by no means that marriage based upon love, which alone 
corresponds with the natural purpose, as its praise-singers maintain. 

With regard to modern marriage, John Stuart Mill exclaims: "Mairiage is 

the only form of slavery that the law recognizes." In the opinion of 

Kant, man and woman constitute only jointly the full being. Upon the 

normal union of the sexes rests the healthy development of the human 

race. The natural gratification of the sexual instinct is a necessity 

for the thorough physical and mental development of both man and woman. 

But man is no animal. Mere physical satisfaction does not suffice for 

the full gratification of his energetic and vehement instinct. He 

requires also spiritual affinity and oneness with the being that he 

couples with. Is that not the case, then the blending of the sexes is a 

purely mechanical act: such a marriage is immoral. It does not answ r er 

the higher human demands. Only in the mutual attachment of two beings of 

opposite sexes can be conceived the spiritual ennobling of relations 

86 



that rest upon purely physical laws. Civilized man demands that the 
mutual attraction continue beyond the accomplishment of the sexual act, 
and that it prolong its purifying influence upon the home that Hows 
from the mutual union. 65 The fact that these demands can not be made 
upon numberless marriages in modern society is what led Barnhagen von 
Ense to say: "That which we saw with our own eyes, both with regard to 
contracted marriages and marriages yet to be contracted, was not 
calculated to give us a good opinion of such unions. On the contrary, 
the whole institution, which was to have only love and respect for its 
foundation, and which in all these instances (in Berlin) we saw founded 
on everything but that, seemed to us mean and contemptible, and we 
loudly joined in the saying of Frederick Schlegel which we read in the 
fragments of the 'Atheneum': Almost all marriages are concubinages, 
left-handed unions, or rather provisional attempts and distant 
resemblances at and of a true marriage, whose real feature consists, 
according to all spiritual and temporal laws, in that two persons become 
one." 66 Which is completely in the sense of Kant. 

The duty towards and pleasure in posterity make permanent the love 
relations of two persons, when such really [exist]. A couple that wishes 
to enter into matrimonial relations must, therefore, be first clear 
whether the physical and moral qualities of the two are fit for such a 
union. The answer should be arrived at uninfluenced; and that can happen 
only, first, by keeping away all other interests, that have nothing to 
do with the real object of the union,— the gratification of the natural 
instinct, and the transmission of one's being in the propagation of the 
race; secondly, by a certain degree of insight that curbs blind passion. 
Seeing, however, as we shall show, that both conditions are, in 
innumerable cases, absent in modern society it follows that modern 
marriage is frequently far from fulfilling its true puipose; hence that 
it is not just to represent it, as is done, in the light of an ideal 
institution. 

How large the number is of the marriages, contracted with views wholly 
different from these, can, naturally, not be statistically given. The 
parties concerned are interested in having their marriage appear to the 
world different from what it is in fact. There is on this field a state 
of hypocrisy peculiar to no earlier social period. And the state, the 
political representative of this society, has no interest, for the sake 
of curiosity, in initiating inquiries, the result of which would be to 
place in dubious light the social system that is its very foundation. 
The maxims, which the state observes with respect to the marrying of 
large divisions of its own officials and servants, do not suffer the 
principle to be applied that, ostensibly, is the basis of mairiage. 

Marriage— and herewith the bourgeois idealists also agree— should be a 
union that two persons enter into only out of mutual love, in order to 

87 



accomplish their natural mission. This motive is, however, only rarely 
present in all its purity. With the large majority of women, matrimony 
is looked upon as a species of institution for support, which they must 
enter into at any price. Conversely, a large portion of the men look 
upon marriage from a purely business standpoint, and from material 
view-points all the advantages and disadvantages are accurately 
calculated. Even with those marriages, in which low egotistical motives 
did not turn the scales, raw reality brings along so much that disturbs 
and dissolves, that only in rare instances are the expectations verified 
which, in their youthful enthusiasm and ardor, the couple had looked 
forward to. 

And quite naturally. If wedlock is to offer the spouses a contented 
connubial life, it demands, together with mutual love and respect, the 
assurance of material existence, the supply oi that measure of the 
necessaiies of life and comfort wliich the two consider requisite for 
themselves and their cliildren. The weight of cares, the hard struggle 
for existence— these are the first nails in the coffin of conjugal 
content and happiness. The cares become heavier the more fruitful the 
marriage proves itself, i.e., in the measure in wliich the marriage 
fulfils its puipose. The peasant, for instance, is pleased at eveiy 
calf that his cow brings him; he counts with delight the number of 
young that his sow litters; and he communicates the event with pleasure 
to his neighbors. But the same peasant looks gloomy when his wife 
presents him with an increase to his own brood— and large this may never 
be— which he believes to be able to bring up without too much worry. His 
gloom is all the thicker if the new-born child is a girl. 

We shall now show how, everywhere, marriages and births are completely 
controlled by the economic conditions. This is most classically 
exemplified in France. There, the allotment system prevails generally in 
the country districts. Land, broken up beyond a certain limit, ceases to 
nourish a family. The unlimited division of land, legally permissible, 
the French peasant counteracts by his rarely giving life to more than 
two children,— hence the celebrated and notorious "two child system," 
that has grown into a social institution in France, and that, to the 
alarm of her statesmen, keeps the population stationary, in some 
provinces even registering considerable retrogression. The number of 
births is steadily on the decline in France; but not in France only, 
also in most of the civilized lands. Therein is found expressed a 
development in our social conditions, that should give the ruling 
classes cause to ponder. In 1881 there were 937,057 children born in 
France; in 1890, however, only 838,059; accordingly, the births in 1890 
fell 98,998 behind the year 1881. Characteristic, however, is the 
circumstance that the number of illegitimate births in France was 
70,079 for the year 1881; that, during the period between 1881 and 1890, 
the number reached high-water mark in 1884, with 75,754; and that the 

88 



number was still 71,086 strong in 1890. Accordingly, the whole of the 
decline of births fell exclusively upon the legitimate births. This 
decline in births, and, we may add, in marriages also, is, as will be 
shown, a characteristic feature, noticeable throughout the century. To 
every 10,000 French population, there were births in the years: 



1801 333 1841 282 1868 269 

1821 307 1851 270 1886 230 

1831 303 1868 261 1890 219 



This amounts to a decline of births in 1890, as against 1801, of 114 to 
every 10,000 inhabitants. It is imaginable that such figures cause 
serious headaches to the French statesmen and politicians. But France 
does not stand alone in this. For a long time Germany has been 
presenting a similar phenomenon. In Germany, to every 10,000 population 
there were births in the years: 

1869 406 1883 368 

1876 403 1887 369.4 

1880 390 1290 367.6 



Accordingly, Germany too reveals, in the space of only 21 years, a 
decline of 49 births to every 10,000 inhabitants. Similarly with the 
other states of Europe. To every 10,000 population there were live 
births: 



From 
States. 186S- 1867. 

Ireland 262 

Scotland 363 

England and Wales... 363 

Holland 388 

Belgium 320 

Switzerland 320 

Austria 374 

Hungary 399 

Italy 378 

Sweden 320 

Norway 344 



The decline in births is, accordingly, pretty general, only that, of all 
European states, it is strongest in France. Between 1886 and 1888, 
France had, to every 1,000 inhabitants, an average of 23.9 births, 
England 32.9, Prussia 41.27, and Russia 48.8. 

These facts show that the birth of a human being, the "image of God," as 
religious people express it, ranks generally much cheaper than new-born 
domestic animals. What this fact does reveal is the unworthy condition 
that we find ourselves in,— and it is mainly the female sex which 
suffers thereunder. In many respects, modern views distinguish 

89 



From 






1886-1888. 


Decrease. Increase, 


£31 


31 


, , 


313 


40 


• * 


314 


39 


, m 


344 


44 


* • 


293 


27 


, # 


278 


42 


(*• 


380 


m » 


• 


445 


• * 


46 


371 


7 


. . 


297 


23 


m m 


308 


36 


m . 



themselves but little from those of barbarous nations. Among the latter, 

new-born babes were frequently killed, and such a fate fell to the lot 

of girls mainly; many a half-wild race does so to this day. We no longer 

kill the girls; we are too civilized for that; but they are only too 

often treated like pariahs by society and the family. The stronger man 

crowds them everywhere back in the struggle for existence; and if, 

driven by the love for life, they still take up the battle, they are 

visited with hatred by the stronger sex, as unwelcome competitors. It is 

especially the men in the higher ranks of society who are bitterest 

against female competition, and oppose it most fiercely. That workingmen 

demand the exclusion of female labor on principle happens but rarely. A 

motion to that effect being made in 1877, at a French Labor Convention, 

the large majority declared against it. Since then, it is just with the 

class-conscious workingmen of all countries, that the principle, that 

working-women are beings with equal rights with themselves makes immense 

progress. This was shown especially by the resolutions of the 

International Labor Congress of Paris in 1889. The class-conscious 

workingman knows that the modern economic development forces woman to 

set herself up as a competitor with man; but he also knows that, to 

prohibit female labor, would be as senseless an act as the prohibition 

of the use of machinery. Hence he strives to enlighten woman on her 

position in society, and to educate her into a fellow combatant in the 

struggle for the emancipation of the proletariat from capitalism. True 

enough,— [because of] the ever more widespread employment of female labor in 

agriculture, industry, commerce and the trades— the family life of the 

workingman is destroyed, and the degenerating effects of the double yoke 

of work for a living, and of household duties, makes rapid progress in 

the female sex. Hence the endeavor to keep women by legislative 

enactments, from occupations that are especially injurious to the female 

organism, and by means of protective laws to safeguard her as a mother 

and rearer of children. On the other hand, the struggle for existence 

forces women to turn in ever larger numbers to industrial occupations. 

It is mairied woman, more particularly, who is called upon to increase 

the meager earnings of her husband with her work,— and she is 

particularly welcome to the employer. 6 ' 

Modern society is without doubt more cultured than any previous one, and 
woman stands correspondingly higher. Nevertheless, the views concerning 
the relations of the two sexes have remained at bottom the same. 
Professor L. von Stein published a book, 68 — a work, be it said in 
passing, that corresponds ill with its title— in which he gives a 
poetically colored picture of modern marriage, as it supposedly is. Even 
in this picture the subaltern position of woman towards the "lion" man 
is made manifest. Stein says among other things: "Man deserves a being 
that not only loves, but also understands him. He deserves a person with 
whom not only the heart beats for him, but whose hand may also smooth 
his forehead, and whose presence radiates peace, rest, order, a quiet 

90 



command over herself and die thousand and one things upon which he daily 
reverts: he wants someone who spreads over all these things that 
indescribable aroma of womanhood, one who is the life-giving warmth to 
the life of the house." 

In this song of praise of woman lies concealed her own degradation, and 
along therewith, the low egotism of man. The professor depicts woman as 
a vaporous being, that, nevertheless, shall be equipped with the 
necessary knowledge of practical arithmetic; know how to keep the 
balance between "must" and "can" in the household; and, for the rest, 
float zephyr-fashion, like sweet spring-tide, about the master of the 
house, the sovereign lion, in order to spy every wish from his eyes, and 
with her little soft hand unwrinkle the forehead, that he, "the master 
of the house," perchance himself crumpled, while brooding over his own 
stupidity. In short, the professor pictures a woman and a marriage such 
as, out of a hundred, hardly one is to be found, or, for that matter, 
can exist. Of the many thousand unhappy marriages; of the large number 
of women who never get so far as to wed; and also of the millions, who, 
like beasts of burden beside their husbands, have to drudge and wear 
themselves out from early morn till late to earn a bit of bread for the 
current day,— of all of these the learned gentleman knows nothing. With 
all these wretched beings, hard, raw reality wipes off the poetic 
coloring more easily than does the hand the colored dust of the wings of 
a butterfly. One look, cast by the professor at those unnumbered female 
sufferers, would have seriously disturbed his poetically colored 
picture, and spoiled his concept. The women, whom he sees, make up but a 
trifling minority, and that these stand upon the plane of our times is 
to be doubted. 

An oft-quoted sentence runs: "The best gauge of the culture of a people 
is the position which woman occupies." We giant that; but it will be 
shown that our so much vaunted culture has little to brag about. In his 
work, "The Subjection of Woman,"— the title is typical of the opinion 
that the author holds regarding the modern position of woman— John 
Stuart Mill says: "The lives of men have become more domestic, growing 
civilization lays them under more obligations towards women." This is 
only partly true. In so far as honorable conjugal relations may exist 
between husband and wife, Mill's statement is true; but it is doubtful 
whether the statement applies to even a strong minority. Every sensible 
man will consider it an advantage to himself if woman step forward into 
life out of the narrow circle of domestic activities, and become 
familiar with the currents of the times. The "chains" he thereby lays 
upon himself do not press him. On the other hand, the question arises 
whether modern life does not introduce into married life factors, that, 
to a higher degree than formerly, act destructively upon marriage. 

Monogamous marriage became, from the start, an object of material 

91 



speculation. The man who marries endeavors to wed property, along with a 
wife, and this was one of the principal reasons why daughters, after 
being at first excluded from the right to inherit, when descent in the 
male line prevailed, soon again reacquired the right. But never in 
earlier days was marriage so cynically, in open market, so to speak, an 
object of speculation; a money transaction, as it is to-day. To-day 
trading in marriage is frequently conducted among the property 
classes— among the propertyless the practice has no sense— with such 
shamelessness, that the oft-repeated phrase concerning the "sanctity" of 
marriage is the merest mockery. This phenomenon, as everything else, has 
its ample foundation. At no previous period was it, as it is to-day, 
hard for the large majority of people to raise themselves into a 
condition of well-being, corresponding to the then general conceptions; 
nor was at any time the justified striving for an existence worthy of 
human beings so general as it is to-day. He who does not reach the goal, 
feels his failure all the more keenly, just because all believe to have 
an equal right to enjoyment. Formally, there are no rank or class 
distinctions. Each wishes to obtain that which, according to his 
station, he considers a goal worth striving for, in order to come at 
fruition. But many are called and few are chosen. In order that one may 
live comfortably in capitalist society, twenty others must pine; and in 
order that one may wallow in all manner of enjoyment, hundreds, if not 
thousands, of others must renounce the happiness of life. But each 
wishes to be of that minority of favored ones, and seizes every means, 
that promise to take him to the desired goal, provided he does not 
compromise himself too deeply. One of the most convenient means, and, 
withal, nearest at hand, to reach the privileged social station, is the 
money-marriage. The desire, on the one hand, to obtain as much money 
as possible, and, on the other, the aspiration after rank, titles and 
honor thus find their mutual satisfaction in the so-called upper classes 
of society. There, marriage is generally considered a business 
transaction; it is a purely conventional bond, which both parties 
respect externally, while, for the rest, each often acts according to 
his or her own inclination. Marriage for political reasons, practiced in 
the higher classes, need here to be mentioned only for the sake of 
completeness. With these marriages also, as a rule, the privilege has 
tacitly existed— of course, again, for the husband to a much higher 
degree than for the wife— that the parties keep themselves scathless, 
outside of the bonds of wedlock, according as their whims may point, 
or their needs dictate. There have been periods in history when it was 
part of the bon ton with a Prince to keep mistresses: it was one of 
the princely attributes. Thus, according to Scherr, did Frederick 
William I. of Prussia (1713-1740), otherwise with a reputation for 
steadiness, keep up, at least for the sake of appearances, relations 
with a General's wife. On the other hand, it is a matter of public 
notoriety that, for instance, August the Strong, King of Poland and 
Saxony, gave life to 300 illegitimate children; and Victor Emanuel of 

92 



Italy, the re galantuomo, left behind 32 illegitimate children. There 
is still extant a romantically located little German residence city, in 
which are at least a dozen charming villas, that the corresponding 
"father of his country" had built as places of recreation for his 
resigned mistresses. On this head thick books could be written: as is 
well known, there is an extensive library on these piquant matters. 

The inside history of most of the German princely courts and noble 
families is to the informed an almost uninterrupted cliioiiique 
scaiidaleuse, and not infrequently has it been stained with crimes of 
blackest dye. In sight of these facts, it certainly is imperative upon 
the sycophantic painters of history, not only to leave untouched the 
question of the "legitimacy" of the several successive "fathers and 
mothers of their country," but also to take pains to represent them as 
patterns of all virtues, as faithful husbands and good mothers. Not yet 
has the breed of the augurs died out; they still live, as did their 
Roman prototypes, on the ignorance of the masses. 

In every large town, there are certain places and days when the higher 
classes meet, mainly for the purpose of match-making. These gatherings 
are, accordingly, quite fitly termed "marriage exchanges." Just as on 
the exchanges, speculation and chaffer play here the leading role, nor 
are deception and swindle left out. Officers, loaded with debts, but who 
can hold out an old title of nobility; roues, broken down with 
debauchery, who seek to restore their ruined health in the haven of 
wedlock, and need a nurse; manufacturers, merchants, bankers, who face 
bankruptcy, not infrequently the penitentiary also, and wish to be 
saved; finally, all those who are after money and w r ealth, or a larger 
quantity thereof, government office-holders among them, with prospects 
of promotion, but meanwhile in financial straits;— all turn up as 
customers at these exchanges, and ply the matrimonial trade. Quite 
often, at such transactions, it is all one whether the prospective wife 
be young or old, handsome or ugly, straight or bent, educated or 
ignorant, religious or frivolous, Christian or Jew. Was it not a saying 
of a celebrated statesman: "The marriage of a Christian stallion with a 
Jewish mare is to be highly recommended"? 69 The figure, 
characteristically borrowed from the horse-fair, meets, as experience 
teaches, with loud applause from the higher circles of our society. 
Money makes up for all defects, and outweighs all vices. The German 
penal code punishes '" the coupler with long terms of imprisonment; 
when, however, parents, guardians and relatives couple their children, 
w r ards or kin to a hated man or woman only for the sake of money, of 
profit, of rank, in short, for the sake of external benefits, there is 
no District Attorney ready to take charge, and yet a crime has been 
committed. There are numerous w r ell organized matrimonial bureaus, with 
male and female panders of all degrees, out for prey, in search of the 
male and female candidates for the "holy bonds of matrimony." Such 

93 



business is especially profitable when the "work" is done for the 
members of the upper classes. In 1878 there was a criminal trial in 
Vienna of a female pander on the charge of poisoning, and ended with her 
being sentenced to fifteen years in the penitentiary. At the trial it 
was established that the French Ambassador in Vienna, Count Bonneville, 
had paid the pander 12,000 florins for procuring his own wife. Other 
members of the high aristocracy were likewise highly compromised through 
the trial. Evidently, certain Government officials had left the woman to 
pursue her dark and criminal practices for many years. The "why" thereof 
is surely no secret. Similar stories are told from the capital of the 
German Empire. During recent years, it is the daughters and heirs of the 
rich American capitalist class, who, on their side, aspire after rank 
and honors, not to be had in their own American home, that have become a 
special subject of matrimonial trading for the needy noblemen of Europe. 
Upon these particular practices characteristic light is thrown by a 
series of articles that appeared in the fall of 1889 in a portion of the 
German press. According thereto, a chevalier d industry nobleman, 
domiciled in California, had recommended himself as a matrimonial agent 
in German and Austrian papers. The offers that he received amply betray 
the conception concerning the sanctity of marriage and its "ethical" 
side prevalent in the corresponding circles. Two Prussian officers of 
the Guards, both, as they say themselves, belonging to the oldest 
nobility of Prussia, declared that they were ready to enter into 
negotiations for marriage because, as they frankly confessed, they owed 
together 60,000 marks. In their letter to the pander they say literally: 
"It is understood that we shall pay no money in advance. You will 
receive your remuneration after the wedding trip. Recommend us only to 
ladies against whose families no objections can be raised. It is also 
very desirable to be introduced to ladies of attractive appearance. If 
demanded, we shall furnish, for discreet use, our own pictures to your 
agent, after he shall have given us the details, and shown us the 
pictures, etc. We consider the whole affair strictly confidential and as 
a matter of honor (?), and, of course, demand the same from you. We 
expect a speedy answer through your agent in this place, if you have 

one. Berlin, Fiiedrichstrasse 107, December 15, 1889. Baron v. M , 

Arthur v. W — ." 

An Austrian nobleman also, Karl Freiherr v. M of Goeding in Moravia, 

seized the opportunity to angle for a rich American bride, and to this 
end sent to the swindle-bureau the following letter: 

"According to a notice in the papers of this place, you are acquainted 
with American ladies who wish to marry. In this connection I place 
myself at your seivice, but must inform you that I have no fortune 
whatever. I am of veiy old noble stock (Baron), 34 years old, single, 
was a cavalry officer and am at present engaged in building railroads. I 
should be pleased to inspect one or more pictures, which, upon my word 

94 



of honor, I shall return. Should you require my picture, I shall forward 
same to you. I also request you to give me fuller information. Expecting 
a speedy answer in this matter, I remain, very respectfully, your Karl 
Freiherr v. M , Goedrng, Moravia, Austria, November 29, 1889." 

A young German nobleman, Hans v. H , wrote from London that he was 5 

feet 10 tall, of an old noble family, and employed in the diplomatic 
service. He made the confession that his fortune had been greatly 
reduced through unsuccessful betting at the horse races, and hence found 
himself obliged to be on the lookout for a rich bride, so as to be able 
to cover his deficit. He was, furthermore, ready to undertake a trip to 
the United States forthwith. 

The chevalier d 'industry 'in question claimed that, besides several 
counts, barons, etc., three Princes and sixteen dukes had reported to 
him as candidates for marriage. But not noblemen only, bourgeois also 

longed for rich American women. An architect, Max W of [Leipzig], 

demanded a bride who should possess not only money, but beauty and 

culture also. From Kehl on the Rhine, a young mill-owner, Robert D , 

wrote that he would be satisfied with a bride who had but 400,000 marks, 
and he promised in advance to make her happy. 

But why look so far, when at hand the quarry is rich! A very 
patriotic-conservative [Leipzig] paper, which plumes itself very 
particularly upon its Christianity, contained in the spring of 1 894 an 
advertisement, that ran thus: "A cavalry officer of the Guards, of 
large, handsome build, noble, 27 years of age, desires a financial 
marriage. Please address, Count v. W. I., Post Office General Delivery, 
Dresden." In comparison with the fellow who makes so cynical an offer, 
the street-walker, who, out of bitter necessity, plies her trade, is a 
paragon of decency and virtue. Similar advertisements are found almost 
every day in the papers of aZ/political parties— except the Social 
Democratic. A Social Democratic editor or manager, who would accept 
such or similar advertisements for his paper, would be expelled from his 
party as dishonorable. The capitalist press is not troubled at such 
advertisements: they bring in money: and it is of the mind of the 
Emperor Vespasian,— non olet, it does not smell. Yet all that does not 
hinder that same press from going rabid mad at "the marriage-undermining 
tendencies of Socialism." Never yet was there an age more hypocritical 
than the one we are living in. With the view to demonstrate the fact 
once more, the above instances were cited. 

Bureaus of information for marriage,— that's what the advertisement 
pages of most of the newspapers of our day are. Whosoever, be it male 
or female, finds near at hand nothing desirable, entrusts his or her 
heart's wants to the pious-conservative or moral-liberal press, that, in 
consideration of cash and without coaxing, sees to it that the kindled 

95 



souls meet. With illustrations, taken on any one day from a number of 
large newspapers, whole pages, could be filled. Off and on the 
interesting fact also crops out that even clergymen are sought for 
husbands, and, vice versa, clergymen angle for wives, with the aid of 
advertisements. Occasionally, the suitors also offer to overlook a 
slip, provided the looked-for woman be rich. In short, the moral 
turpitude of certain social circles of our society can be pilloried no 
better than by this sort of courtship. 

state and Church play in such "holy matrimony" a by no means handsome 
role. Whether the civil magistrate or clergyman, on whom may devolve 
the duty to celebrate the marriage, be convinced that the bridal couple 
before him has been brought together by the vilest of practices; whether 
it be manifest that, neither in point of age nor that of bodily or 
mental qualities, the two are compatible with each other; whether, for 
instance, the bride be twenty and the bridegroom seventy years old, or 
the reverse; whether the bride be young, handsome and joyful, and the 
bridegroom old, ridden with disease and crabbed;— whatever the case, it 
concerns not the representative of the state or the Church; it is not 
for them to look into that. The marriage bond is "blessed,"— as a rule, 
blessed with all the greater solemnity in proportion to the size of the 
fee for the "holy office." 

When, later, such a marriage proves a most unfortunate one— as foreseen 
by everybody, by the ill-starred victim, in most instances the woman, 
herself,— and either party decides to separate, then, state and 
Church,— who never hist inquire whether real love and natural, moral 
impulses, or only naked, obscene egotism tie the knot— now raise the 
greatest difficulties. At present, moral repulsion is but rarely 
recognized a sufficient ground for separation; at present, only palpable 
proofs, proofs that always dishonor or lower one of the parties in 
public esteem, are, as a rule, demanded; separation is not otherwise 
granted. That the Roman Catholic Church does not allow divorces,— except 
by special dispensation of the Pope, which is hard to obtain, and, at 
best, only from board and bed— only renders all the worse the 
conditions, under which all Catholic countries are suffering. Germany 
has the prospect of receiving, in the not too far distant future, a 
civil code that shall embrace the whole Empire. It is, therefore, a 
side-light upon our times that, although even the superficial observer 
must reach the conclusion that at no previous period have unhappy 
marriages been so numerous as now-a natural consequence of our whole 
social development— the new r draft for a civil code still renders divorce 
materially difficult. It is but a fresh instance of the old 
experience,— a social system, in the throes of dissolution, seeks to 
keep itself up by artificial means and compulsion, and to deceive itself 
upon its actual state. In declining Rome, marriage and births w r ere 
sought to be promoted by premiums: in the German Empire, whose social 

96 



order stands under a constellation similar with that of the decaying 
Empire of the Caesars, it is now sought to prevent the ever more 
frequent desire for the dissolution of marriage by means of forcible 
constraints. 

Thus people remain against their will chained to each other through 
life. One party becomes the slave of the other, compelled to submit out 
of "conjugal duty" to that other's most intimate embraces, which, 
perhaps, it abhors worse than insult or ill-treatment. Fully justified 
is Montegazza's dictum:' 1 "There is probably no worse torture than 
that which compels a human being to put up with the caresses of a person 
it does not love." 

We ask, Is such a marriage— and their number is infinite— not worse than 
prostitution? The prostitute has, to a certain degree, the freedom to 
withdraw from her disgraceful pursuit; moreover, she enjoys the 
privilege, if she does not live in a public house, to reject the 
purchase of the embraces of him who, for whatever reason, maybe 
distasteful to her. But a sold married woman must submit to the embraces 
of her husband, even though she have a hundred reasons to hate and 
despise him. 

When in advance, and with the knowledge of both parties, marriage is 
contracted as a marriage for money or rank, then, as a rule, matters lie 
more favorably. The two accommodate themselves mutually, and a modus 
\ivendi is established. They want no scandal, and regard for their 
children compels them to avoid any, although it is the children who 
suffer most under a cold, loveless life on the part of their parents, 
even if such a life does not develop into enmity, quarrel and 
dissension. Often accommodation is reached in order to avoid material 
loss. As a rule it is the husband, whose conduct is the rock against 
which marriage is dashed. This appears from the actions for divorce. In 
virtue of his dominant position, he can indemnify himself elsewhere when 
the marriage is not pleasing to him, and he can not find satisfaction in 
it. The wife is not so free to step on side-roads, partly because, as 
the receiving sex, such action is, for physiologic reasons, a much more 
risky one on her part; then, also, because every infraction of conjugal 
fidelity is imputed a crime to her, which neither the husband nor 
society pardons. Woman alone makes a "slip"— be she wife, widow r or maid; 
man, at w r orst, has acted "incorrectly." One and the same act is judged 
by society with wholly different standards, according as it be committed 
by a man or a woman. And, as a rule, women themselves judge a "fallen" 
sister most severely and pitilessly.' 2 

As a rule, only in cases of crassest infidelity or maltreatment, does 

the wife decide upon divorce. She is generally in a materially dependent 

position, and compelled to look upon marriage as a means of support: 

97 



moreover, as a divorced wife, she finds herself socially in no enviable 
situation: unless special reasons render intercourse with her desirable, 
she is considered and treated by society as a neuter, so to speak. When, 
despite all this, most actions for divorce proceed from wives, the 
circumstance is an evidence of the heavy moral torture that they lie 
under. In France, even before the new divorce law came into effect 
(1884), by far the more numerous actions for separation from bed and 
board came from women. For an absolute divorce they could apply only if 
the husband took his concubine into the married home, against the will 
of his wife. Actions for separations from bed and board occurred:' 3 

Average Per Average Per Year 
Years. Year by Wives. by Husbands. 

1856-1861 1729 184 

1861-1866 2135 260 

1866-1871 2691 330 

But not only did women institute by far the larger number of actions; 
the figures show r that these increased from period to period. 
Furthermore, so far as reliable information before us goes, it appears 
that actions for absolute divorce also proceed preponderatingly from 
wives. In the Kingdom of Saxony, during the period of 1860-1868, there 
w r ere instituted, all told, 8,402 actions for divorce; of these, 3,537 
(42 per cent.) w r ere by men, 4,865 (58 per cent.) by wives. 

In the period from 1 87 1 to 1 878, there w r ere actions for divorce in 
Saxony[74]' 4 : 

Year. By Husbands. By Wives. 

1871 475 574 

1872 576 698 

1873 553 673 

1874 643 697 

1875 717 752 

1876 722 839 

1877 746 951 

1878 754 994 



Total 6,186 6,178 

The fact that divorce, as a rule, hurts women more, did not restrain 
them in Saxony either from instituting most of the actions. The total 
actions for divorce increased, however, in Saxony, as in France, much 
faster than population. In Switzerland, during the year 1892, there were 
granted 1,036 applications for divorce. Of these, wives had instituted 
493, husbands 229, and both parties 314. 

Statistics teach us, however, not alone that wives institute the larger 
number of actions for divorce; they also teach us that the number of 
divorces is in rapid increase. In France, divorce has been regulated 



98 



anew by law since 1884. Since then, divorces have greatly increased from 
year to year. The number of divorces, and years they fell in, were as 
follows: 



1884 1,657 

1885 2,477 

1886 2.950 



1887 3,638 

1888 4,708 

1889 .....4,786 

1890 5,457 



In Vienna there were, from 1870 to 1871, 148 divorces; they increased 
from year to year; from 1878 to 1879 they ran up to 319 cases.' 5 But 
in Vienna, being a preponderatingly Catholic city, divorce is hard to 
obtain. That notwithstanding, about the year 1885 a Vienna Judge made 
the remark: "Complaints on the ground of broken marriage vows are as 
frequent as complaints for broken window-panes." In England and Wales 
there was, in 1867, 1 divorce to every 1,378 marriages, but in 1877 
there was 1 to every 652 marriages; and in 1886, 1 to as few as 527. In 
the United States the number of divorces for 1867 was 9,937, and for 
1886 as many as 25,535. The total number of divorces in the United 
states between 1867 and 1886 was 328,716, and the fault fell in 216,176 
cases upon the husband, in 112,540 upon the wife. 



Relatively speaking, the largest number of divorces occurs in the United 
states. The proportion between marriages and divorces during the period 
of 1867 to 1886 stood for those states in which an accurate record is 
kept: 



States. Marriages. 

Connecticut 96,737 

Columbia 24,065 

Massachusetts 308,195 

Ohio 544,362 

Rhode Island 49,593 

Vermont 54,913 





Marriages 




to Every One 


Divorces. 


Divorce. 


8,542 


11.32 


1,105 


21.77 


9,853 


31.28 


26,367 


20.65 


4,462 


11.10 


3,238 


19.95 



In the other states of the Union, from which less accurate returns are 
at hand, the proportion seems to be the same. The reasons why in the 
United States divorces are more frequent than in any other country, may 
be sought in the circumstance, first, that divorce is there more easily 
obtained than elsewhere; secondly, that women occupy in the United 
states a fai freer position than in any other country, hence are less 
inclined to allow themselves to be tyiaimised by their maiital 
lords.' 6 

In Germany there was, by judicial decision, 1 dissolution of marriage— 



99 



Sweden. 


France. 


4.2 


2.7 


4.4 


2.8 


4.4 


4.0 


4.3 


4.0 


4.8 


6.0 


5.0 


7.8 


5.8 


6.5 


7.1 


9.0 



In the Years To Population. To Manages. 

1881-1685 8,410 1,430 

1886 7,585 1,283 

1887 7,261 1,237 

1888 6,966 1,170 

1889 7,155 1,211 

According to Dr. S. Wernicke, there were to every 1,000 marriages, 
divorces in: 



Years. Belgium. 

1841-1845 0.7 

1846-1850 0.9 

1851-1856 1.0 

1856-1860 ..'. 1.4 

1861-1865 1.6 

1866-1870 1.9 

1871-1876 2.8 

1876-1880 .4.2 



It would be an error to attempt to arrive at any conclusion touching the 
different conditions of morality, by deductions from the large 
discrepancy between the figures for the different countries cited above. 
No one will dare assert that the population of Sweden has more 
inclination or cause for divorce than that of Belgium. First of all must 
the legislation on the subject be kept in mind, which in one country 
makes divorce difficult, in another easier, more so in some, less in 
others. Only in the second instance does the condition of morality come 
into consideration, i.e., the average reasons that, now the husbands, 
then the wives, consider determining factors in applying for separation. 
But all these figures combine in establishing that divorces increase 
much faster than population; and that they increase while marriages 
decline. About this, more later. 

On the question how the actions for divorce distribute themselves among 
the several strata of society, there is only one computation at our 
disposal, from Saxony, but which is from the year 1851." At that 
time, to each 100,000 marriages, there were actions for divorce from the 
stratum of 



Domestic servants 289 or 1 application to 346 marriages 

Day laborers 324 or 1 application to 309 marriages 

Government employes 337 or 1 application to 289 marriages 

Craftsmen and merchants 354 or 1 application to 2S3 marriages 

Artists and scientists 485 or 1 application to 200 marriages 

Accordingly, the actions for divorce were at that period in Saxony 50 
per cent, more frequent in the higher than in the lower social 
strata. 



100 



The increasing number of divorces signifies that, in general, the 
marriage relations are becoming ever more unfavorable, and that the 
factors multiply which destroy marriage. On the other hand, they also 
furnish evidence that an ever larger number of spouses, women in 
particular, decide to shake off the unbearable oppressing yoke. 

But the evils of matrimony increase, and the corruption of marriage 
gains ground in the same measure as the struggle for existence waxes 
sharper, and marriage becomes ever more a money-match, or be it, 
marriage by purchase. The increasing difficulty, moreover, of supporting 
a family determines many to renounce marriage altogether; and thus the 
saying that woman's activity should be limited to the house, and that 
she should fill her calling as housewife and mother, becomes ever more 
a senseless pliiase. On the other hand, the conditions can not choose 
but favor the gratification of sexual intercourse outside of wedlock. 
Hence the number of prostitutes increases, while the number of marriages 
decreases. Besides that, the number increases of those who suffer from 
unnatural gratification of the sexual instinct. 

Among the property classes, not infrequently the wife sinks, just as in 
old Greece, to the level of a mere apparatus for the procreation of 
legitimate offspring, of warder of the house, or of nurse to a husband, 
vnecked by debauchery. The husbands keep for their pleasure and physical 
desires hetairae— styled among us courtesans or mistresses— who live in 
elegant abodes, in the handsomest quarters of the city. Others, whose 
means do not allow them to keep mistresses, disport themselves, after 
marriage as before, with Phiynes, for whom their hearts beat stronger 
than for their own wives. With the Phiynes they amuse themselves; and 
quite a number of the husbands among the "property and cultured 
classes" is so corrupt that it considers these entertainments in 
order.' 8 

In the upper and middle classes of society, the money matches and 
matches for social position are the mainspring of the evils of married 
life; but, over and above that, marriage is made rank by the lives these 
classes lead. This holds good particularly with regard to the women, who 
frequently give themselves over to idleness or to corrupting pursuits. 
Their intellectual food often consists in the reading of equivocal 
romances and obscene literature, in seeing and hearing frivolous 
theatrical performances, and the fruition of sensuous music; in 
exhilarating nervous stimulants; in conversations on the pettiest 
subjects, or scandals about the dear fellow mortals. Along therewith, 
they rush from one enjoyment into another, from one banquet to another, 
and hasten in summer to the baths and summer retreats to recover from 
the excesses of the winter, and to find fresh subjects for talk. The 
cliionique scandaleuse recruits itself from this style of life: people 
seduce and are seduced. 



101 



Ill the lower classes money-matches are unknown, as a rule, although they 
occasionally do play a role. No one can wholly withdraw himself from the 
influence of the society he lives in,— and the existing social 
conditions exercise a particularly depressing influence upon the 
circumstances of the lower classes. As a rule, the workingman weds out 
of inclination, but there is no lack of causes to disturb his marriage. 
A rich blessing of children brings on cares and troubles; but too often 
want sets in. Sickness and death are frequent guests in the workingman 's 
family. Lack of work drives misery to its height. Many a circumstance 
pares off the worker's earnings, or temporarily robs him wholly of it. 
Commercial and industrial crises throw him out of work; the introduction 
of new machinery, or methods of work, casts him as superfluous on the 
sidewalk; wars, unfavorable tariffs and commercial treaties, the 
introduction of the new indirect taxes, disciplinary acts on the part of 
the employer in punishment for the exercise of his convictions, etc., 
destroy his existence, or seriously injure it. Now one thing, then 
another happens, whereby, sometimes for a shorter, sometimes for a 
longer period, he becomes an unemployed, i.e., a starving being. 
Uncertainty is the badge of his existence. When such blows of fortune 
happen, they at first produce dissatisfaction and bitterness, and in the 
home life this mood finds its first expression when daily, every hour, 
demands are made by wife and children for the most pressing needs, needs 
that the husband can not satisfy. Out of despair, he visits the saloon, 
and seeks comfort in bad liquor. The last penny is spent. Quarrel and 
dissension break out. The ruin of both marriage and the family is 
accomplished. 

Let us take up another picture. Both— husband and wife— go to work. The 
little ones are left to themselves, or to the care of older brothers and 
sisters, themselves in need of care and education. At noon, the 
so-called lunch is swallowed down in hot haste,— supposing that the 
parents have at all time to rush home, which, in thousands of cases is 
impossible, owing to the shortness of the hour of recess, and the 
distance of the shop from the home. Tired out and unstrung, both return 
home in the evening. Instead of a friendly, cheerful home, they find a 
narrow, unhealthy habitation, often lacking in light and air, generally 
also in the most necessary comforts. The increasing tenement plague, 
together with the horrible improprieties that flow therefrom, is one of 
the darkest sides of our social order, and leads to numerous evils, 
vices and crimes. Yet the plague increases from year to year in all 
cities and industrial regions, and it draws within the vortex of its 
evils ever new strata of society: small producers, public employees, 
teachers, small traders, etc. The workingman' s wife, who reaches home in 
the evening tiled and harassed, has now again her hands full. She must 
bestir herself at breakneck speed in order but to get ready the most 
necessary things in the household. The crying and noisy children are 

102 



hurried off to bed; die wife sits up, and sews, and patches deep into 
the night. The so-much-needed mental intercourse and encouragement are 
absent. The husband is often uneducated and knows little, the wife still 
less; the little they have to say to each other is soon got through 
with. The husband goes to the saloon, and seeks there the entertainment 
that he lacks at home; he drinks; however little that be that he spends, 
for his means it is too much. At times he falls a prey to gambling, 
which, in the upper circles of society also, claims many victims, and he 
loses more than he spends in drink. The wife, in the meantime, sits at 
home and grumbles; she must work like a dray-horse; for her there is no 
rest or recreation; the husband avails himself of the freedom that 
accident gives him, of having been born a man. Thus disharmony arises. 
If, however, the wife is less true to duty, she seeks in the evening, 
after she has returned home tired, the rest she is entitled to; but then 
the household goes back, and misery is twice as great. Indeed, we live 
"in the best world possible." 

Through these and similar circumstances, marriage is shattered ever 
more among the working class also. Even favorable seasons of work exert 
their destructive influence: they compel him to work Sundays and 
overtime: they take from him the hours he still had left for his family. 
In many instances he has to travel horns to reach the shop; to utilize 
the noon recess for going home is an impossibility; he is up in the 
morning at the veiy earliest, when the children are still sound asleep, 
and returns home late, when they are again in the same condition. 
Thousands, especially those engaged in the building trades in the 
cities, remain away from home all week, owing to the vastness of the 
distance, and return only on Saturdays to their family. And yet it is 
expected of family life that it thrive under such circumstances. 
Moreover, female labor is ever on the increase, especially in the 
textile industry, whose thousands of steam weaving and spinning looms 
are served by cheap woman and children's hands. Here the relations of 
sex and age have been reversed. Wife and child go into the mill, the now 
breadless husband sits at home and attends to household duties. In the 
United States, that, [because of] its rapid large-capitalist development, 
produces all the evils of European industrial states in much larger 
dimensions, a characteristic name has been invented for the state of 
things brought on by such conditions. Industrial places that employ 
women mainly, while the husbands sit at home, are called "she-towns." 

The admission of women to all the manual trades is to-day conceded on 
all hands. Capitalist society, ever on the limit for profit and gain, has 
long since recognized what an excellent subject for exploitation is 
woman— more docile and submissive, and less exacting woman— in 
comparison with man. Hence the number of trades and occupations, in 
which women are finding employment increases yearly. The extension and 
improvement of machinery, the simplification of the process of 

103 



production through the ever minuter subdivision of labor, the intenser 
competition of capitalists among themselves, together with the 
competitive battle in the world's market among rival industrial 
countries,— all these continue to favor the ever further application of 
female labor. It is a phenomenon noticeable in all industrial countries 
alike. But in the same measure that the number of working-women 
increases, competition among the workingmen is thereby intensified. One 
branch of industry after another, one branch of work after the other, is 
being taken by working-women, who are ever more displacing the men. 
Numerous passages in the reports of factory inspectors, as well as in 
the statistical figures on the occupation of working-women, go to 
confirm the fact. 

The condition of the women is worst in the industrial branches in which 
they preponderate, for instance, the clothing and underwear industry, 
those branches, in general, in which work can be done at home. The 
inquiry into the condition of the working-women in the underwear and 
confectionery industries, ordered in 1 886 by the Bundesrath, has 
revealed the fact that the wages of these working-women are often so 
miserable that they are compelled to prostitute their bodies for a 
side-source of income. A large number of the prostitutes are recruited 
from the strata of ill-paid working-women. 

Our "Christian" Government, whose Christianity, as a rule, is looked for 
in vain there where it should be applied, and is found where the same is 
superfluous and harmful,— this Christian Government acts exactly like 
the Christian capitalists, a fact that does not astonish him who knows 
that the Christian Government is but the agent of our Christian 
capitalists. The Government only with difficulty decides in favor of 
laws to limit woman-labor to a normal measure, or to wholly forbid 
child-labor;— on the same principle that that Government denies many of 
its own employees both the requisite Sunday rest and normal hours of 
work, and in that way materially disturbs their family life. Post 
Office, railroad, penitentiary and other Government employees often must 
perform their functions far beyond the time limit, and their salaries 
stand in inverse ratio to their work. That, however, is, to-day, the 
normal condition of things, still considered quite in order by the 
majority. 

Seeing, furthermore, that rent, in comparison to the wages and earnings 
of the workingmen, the lower Government employees and the small men 
included, is much too high, these must exert themselves to the utmost. 
Lodgers are taken into these homes, only males in some, females in 
others, often both. The young and the old live together in narrow 
quarters, without separating the sexes, and are crowded together even 
during the most private acts. How the sense of shame, or morality fares 
thereby, horrifying facts proclaim. The increasing brutalization of the 

104 



youth, so extensively discussed, is due mainly to the conditions 
prevalent in our industrial system, with which the wretchedness of the 
home is closely connected. And, as to the children, what must be upon 
them the effect of industrial labor! The very worst imaginable, both 
physically and morally. 

The ever increasing industrial occupation of married women also is 
accompanied with fatal results. Especially is this the case in 
connection with pregnancy and child-birth, as also during the early life 
of the child when it depends upon the nourishment of the mother. A 
number of ailments arise during pregnancy that affect destructively both 
the fruit and the organism of the woman, and cause premature and 
still-born births, upon all of which more later. After the child is 
born, the mother is compelled to return as quickly as possible to the 
factory, lest her place be taken by a competitor. The inevitable 
results to the little ones are: neglected care, improper or total lack 
of nourishment. They are drugged with opiates to keep them quiet. The 
further results are: a vast mortality, or stunted development; in short, 
the degeneration of the race. The children often grow r up without having 
enjoyed true motherly and fatherly love, or having on their part, felt 
filial affection. Thus is the proletariat born, thus does it live and 
die. And the "Christian" Government, this "Christian" society winders 
that rudeness, immorality and crime cumulate. 

When, in the early sixties of last century, [because of] the American Civil 
War for the emancipation of the negroes, many thousands of w r orkingmen in 
the English cotton industries w r ere out of w r ork, physicians made the 
remarkable discovery that, despite great w r ant among the population, 
mortality among children had declined. The cause w r as simple. The 
children now enjoyed the mother's nourishment and better care than they 
had ever had during the best seasons of w r ork. The same fact w r as attested 
by physicians during the crisis of the seventies in the United States, 
especially in New r York and Massachusetts. The general lack of employment 
compelled the women to rest from labor, and left them time for the care 
of their children. Similar observations w r ere also made by Dr. v. 
Recherberg during the inquiry into the condition of the weavers of the 
region of Zittau in Saxony, as shown by him in a w r ork that he wrote 
during the summer of 1890. 

In the home-industries, which romantic economists love to represent as 
idyllic, conditions are no better. Here the wife is chained to her 
husband, at w r ork early and late into the night, and the children are 
from an early age hitched on. Crow r ded into the narrowest space 
imaginable, husband, wife and family, boys and girls, live together, 
along with the waste of materials, amidst the most disagreeable dusts 
and odors, and without the necessary cleanliness. The bedrooms are of a 
piece with the sitting and working rooms: generally dark holes and 

105 



without ventilation, they would be sufficiently unsanitary if they 
housed but a part of the people huddled into them. In short, the 
conditions of these places are such as to cause the skin to creep of 
anyone accustomed to a life worthy of a human being. 

The ever harder struggle for existence often also compels women and men 
to commit actions and tolerate indignities that, under other 
circumstances, would fill them with disgust. In 1877 it was 
authentically established in Munich that, among the prostitutes, 
registered by and under the surveillance of the police, there were not 
less than 203 wives of workingmen and artisans. And how many are not the 
married women, who, out of distress, prostitute themselves without 
submitting to a police control that deeply lacerates the sense of shame 
and dignity! 

But we have wandered somewhat from our subject. It was shown that the 
number of actions for divorce is on the increase in all countries of 
civilization, and that the majority of these actions proceed from wives. 
This steadily rising figure of actions for divorce is a sign of the 
decay of bourgeois marriage, wliich is answering its purpose ever less. 
But a still much worse sign of its decay is the circumstance that, 
simultaneously, the number of marriages is in almost all these countries 
steadily on the decline. Experience tells that high prices for corn in 
one single year have an unfavorable effect both upon the number of 
marriages and that of births. Long industrial crises, and increasing 
deterioration of the general economic condition must, accordingly, have 
a lasting evil effect. This is confirmed by the statistics of marriages 
for almost all countries in civilization. 

In France, marriages between 1881-1890 cast the following picture on the 
canvas. Marriages were contracted in— 



1881 282,079 

1882 281,060 

1883 284.519 

1884 289,555 

1885 283,170 



1880 283,208 

1887 277,060 

1888 276,848 

188© 272,934 

1890 266,332 



There is, accordingly, a considerable decrease of marriages. 

In the German Empire, the number of marriages was highest after the 
close of the war between Germany and France, during which they had stood 
still. In 1872 there were 423,900 marriages contracted, but in 1876 they 
numbered only 366,912, and during the worst year of the crisis, the year 
1879, they chopped to 335,113. They have since risen again slowly, and 
numbered in 



106 



1882 350,457 

1886 372,326 



1889 389,339 

1892 398,775 



Although in the year 1 892 the population of Germany was larger by 
8,000,000 heads than in 1872, the number of marriages was not even as 
large as in 1874 when it amounted to 400,282. In the period between 
1871-1880, there were, to an average of 1,000 inhabitants in Germany, 
8.6 marriages; in the period between 1881-1888, only 7.8. 

In Prussia, to the average 10,000 inhabitants, there married— 

Between 1831-35 1,840 

Between 1866-70 1,605 

Between 1871-75 1,896 

Between 1881-85 1,529 

And in 1888 1,624 

A similar, partly even more unfavorable picture than in Germany, is 
furnished by the statistical tables for other European countries. 

Out of every 10,000 persons, there married— 





g 

! 


3. 

i 

sr 


> 

i 


I 
s 


£ 
•5" 


w 

f 


I 

a. 


i 


I 


s? 

1 


© 

1 


1 

1 


1 
1 


; 


• 









* 


- 




: 


■ 


■ 






'. 


1873. 


.171 


152 


188 


178 


159 


156 


176 


155 


96 


162 


145 


146 


226 


1874. 


.108 


166 


181 


107 


153 


152 


170 


152 


92 


164 


153 


145 


214 


1875. 


.167 


179 


171 


164 


108 


145 


167 


148 


91 


170 


157 


140 


218 


1876. 


.165 


162 


165 


158 


163 


142 


166 


150 


99 


171 


154 


141 


198 


1877. 


.162 


157 


150 


150 


154 


149 


157 


144 


93 


161 


151 


137 


182 


1878. 


.155 


147 


152 


151 


142 


135 


152 


134 


95 


148 


146 


129 


187 


1879. 


.153 


138 


155 


152 


150 


130 


144 


128 


87 


147 


135 


126 


205 


1880. 


.150 


137 


152 


149 


140 


141 


149 


132 


78 


152 


133 


126 


182 


1S81. 


.146 


136 


100 


150 


162 


142 


151 


139 


85 


156 


128 


124 


198 


18S2. 


.143 


135 


104 


149 


157 


140 


155 


140 


86 


154 


134 


127 


203 


1883. 


.142 


136 


157 


150 


161 


136 


154 


140 


85 


154 


132 


128 


205 


18S4. 


.144 


136 


157 


153 


164 


136 


151 


135 


91 


156 


137 


131 


201 


1885. 


.139 


138 


152 


149 


158 


130 


144 


129 


80 


151 


133 


133 




1SS6. 


.139 


137 


155 


149 


158 


134 


141 


124 


84 


142 


131 


... 


... 


Aver 




























age 


.153 


147 


161 


155 


156 


141 


156 


139 


89 


156 


141 


133 


202 



These figures are interesting in more respects than one. In the first 
place, they prove that, in all the countries named, the number of 
marriages declines. Like Germany, all these countries show the highest 
frequency of marriage in the beginning of 1872, and then follows a drop 
in most of them. Hungary comes out best; Ireland, on the contrary, 
worst, showing the smallest figures of all. The ejectment of the Irish 
population from their lands, and the ever greater concentration of the 
same in the hands of the large landlords, express themselves clearly in 
the figures given. 79 

Industrial conditions have a marked effect upon the number of marriages. 



107 



Property by 


Of the 


of the 


Hectares. 


Age of 


Age of 


6-20. 


Over 20. 


25-30. 


40-60. 


2Q.4 


0.0 


63.6 


4.4 


17.7 


3.4 


51.3 


8.1 


24.8 


7.6 


48.6 


8.7 


34.8 


8.8 


50.0 


10.0 


42.2 


7.6 


48.6 


10.1 


40.3 


16.1 


44.3 


10.8 


47.6 


12.8 


48.7 


10.0 


60.1 


27.7 


38.8 


lO.C 


40.8 


38.3 


38.8 


7.5 


48.0 


32.3 


32.6 


9.7 


50.0 


34.5 


32.6 


13.8 


61.4 


24.4 


23.6 


26.4 



As the former has, on an average, become ever more unfavorable since the 
middle of the seventies, the decline in marriages is not astonishing. 
But not the industrial conditions only, also the manner in which the 
property relations develop affects marriages in a high degree, as just 
seen in Ireland. The Year-Book of Schmoller for 1885, section 1, gives 
information on the statistics of population of the Kingdom of 
Wuertemberg, from which it appears strikingly that with the increase of 
large [landed estates, the number of mairied males between 25 and 
30 years of] age declines, while the number of uirmairied men between the 
ages of 40 and 50 rises: 

Percentage of Males. 
Un- 
Fercentage of Landed Married married 

Districts. Up to 5. 

Upper Neurenburg 79.6 

East of Stuttgart 78-9 

South of Stuttgart 67.6 

North of Stuttgart 66.5 

Schwarzwald 50.2 

Upper Neckar 43.0 

Eastward 39.5 

Northeast, except north of 

Hall 22.2 

Swabian Alb 20.3 

North Upper Swabia 19.7 

From Hall eastward 15.5 

Bodensee district 14.2 

Middle and South Upper 

Swabia 12.6 41.1 46.3 30.0 19.1 

There can be no doubt: small landed property favors marriages: it makes 
a living possible for a larger number of families, although the living 
be modest. Large landed property, on the contrary, w r orks directly 
against marriage, and promotes celibacy. All the figures here quoted 
prove, accordingly, that, not morals, but purely material causes are 
the determining factor. The number of marriages, like die moral 
conditions of a commonwealth, depends upon its material foundations. 

The fear of w r ant, the mental w r ony lest the children be not educated up 
to their station,— these are further causes that drive the wives, in 
particular, of all ranks to actions that are out of keeping with nature, 
and still more so with the criminal code. Under this head belong the 
various means for the prevention of pregnancy, or, when, despite all 
care, this does set in, then the removal of the unripe 
fruit— abortion. It w r ere an error to claim that these measures are 
resorted to only by heedless, unconscionable women. Often, rather, it is 
conscientious women, who wish to limit the number of children, in order 
to escape the dilemma of either having to deny themselves their 
husbands, or of driving them to paths that they are naturally inclined 
to. It often is such women who prefer to undergo the dangers of 
abortion. Besides these, there are other women, especially in the higher 
w r alks of life, who, in order to conceal a "slip," or out of aversion 

108 



for the inconveniences of pregnancy, of child-birth and of nursing, 
perhaps, out of fear of sooner losing their charms, and then forfeiting 
their standing with either husband or male friends, incur such criminal 
acts, and, for hard cash, find ready medical and midwife support. 

To conclude from diverse indications, artificial abortion is coming ever 
more into practice; nor is the practice new. Artificial abortion was in 
frequent use among the ancient peoples, and is, to this day, from the 
most civilized down to the barbarous. According to Jules Roget, 80 the 
women of Rome took recourse to abortion for several reasons: They either 
sought to destroy the evidence of illicit relations— a reason that even 
to-day is often at its bottom; or they wished to be able to indulge 
their excesses without interruption. There were also other reasons: they 
wished to avoid the changes that pregnancy and child-birth work upon 
woman's physique. Among the Romans, a woman was old from twenty-five 
years to thirty. Accordingly, she sought to avoid all that might impair 
her charms. In the Middle Ages, abortion was punishable with severe 
bodily chastisement, often even with death; the free woman, guilty 
thereof, became a serf. At present, abortion is especially in use in the 
United States. In all large cities of the Union, there are institutions 
in which girls and women are prematurely delivered: many American papers 
contain the advertisements of such places: abortion is talked of there 
almost as freely as of a regular birth. In Germany and Europe, opinion 
on the subject is different: the German criminal code, for instance, 
makes the act of both the principal and the accessoiy a penitentiary 
offense. 81 

Abortion is, in many cases, accompanied by the most serious results. The 
operation is dangerous; death not infrequently occurs; often the result 
is a permanent impairment of health. "The troubles of troublesome 
pregnancy and child-birth are infinitely less than the sufferings 
consequent upon artificial abortion." 82 Barrenness is one of its most 
common consequences. All that, notwithstanding, abortion is practiced 
also in Germany, ever more frequently, and for the reasons given. 
Between 1882-1888, the number of cases in Berlin, of which the criminal 
courts took cognizance, rose 155 per cent. The cliioiiique scaiidaleuse 
of the last years dealt frequently with cases of abortion, that caused 
great sensation, [because of] the circumstance that reputable physicians and 
women, prominent in society, played a role in them. Furthermore, to 
judge from the rising number of announcements in our newspapers, the 
institutions and places increase in which married and unmarried women of 
the property class are offered an opportunity to aw r ait the results of a 
"slip" in perfect secrecy. 

The dread of a large increase of children— [because of] the smallness of 
means, and the cost of bringing up— has, among all classes and even 
peoples, developed the use of preventatives into a system, that here and 

109 



yonder has grown into a public calamity. It is a generally known fact 
that, in all strata of French society, the "two-child system" is in 
force. In few countries of civilization are marriages relatively as 
numerous as in France, and in no country is the average number of 
children so small, and the increase of population so slow. The French 
capitalist, like the small-holder and allotment peasant, pursues the 
system; the French workingman follows suit. In many sections of Germany 
the special situation of the peasants seems to have led to similar 
conditions. We know a charming region in Southwest Germany, where, in 
the garden of every peasant, there stands the so-called "Sevenbaum," 
whose properties are applied to abortive purposes. In another district 
of the same country the regular two-child system prevails among the 
peasants: they do not wish to divide the places. Moreover, striking is 
the measure in which literature, that treats with and recommends the 
means of "facultative sterility," increases in Germany both in volume 
and demand,— of course, always under the colors of science, and in 
allusion to the alleged threatening danger of over-population. 

Along with abortion and the artificial prevention of conception, crime 
plays its role. In France, the murder of children and their exposure 
is perceptibly on the increase, both promoted by the provision of the 
French civil code that forbids all inquiry after the paternity of the 
child. Section 340 of the Code Civil decrees: "La recherche de la 
pateriiite est interdite;" on the other hand, Section 314 provides: "La 
recherche de la materiiite est adinise." To inquire after the paternity 
of a child is forbidden, but is allowed after its maternity,— a law that 
glaringly brings out the injustice contemplated towards the seduced 
woman. The men of France are free to seduce as many women and girls as 
they are able to; they are free from all responsibility; they owe no 
support to the child. These provisions were instituted under the pretext 
that the female sex should be frightened against seducing the men. As 
you see, everywhere it is the weak man, this limb of the stronger sex, 
who is seduced, but never seduces. The result of Section 340 of the 
Code Chil was Section 312, which provides: " L'enfant concu pendant 
le marriage apoirr pere le inari! ,w Inquiry after the paternity being 
forbidden, it is logical that the husband, crowned with horns, rest 
content with having the child, that his wife received from another, 
considered his own. Inconsistency, at any rate, can not be charged to 
the French capitalist class. All attempts to amend Section 340 have so 
far failed. Lately, February, 1 895, the Socialist deputies in the French 
Chamber of Deputies presented a bill intended to put an end to the 
disfranchised position of the seduced or betrayed woman. Whether the 
attempt will be crowned with success is doubtful. 

On the other hand, the French capitalist class— sensible of the cruelty 
it committed in so framing the law as to make it impossible for the 
deceived woman to turn for support to the father of her child— sought to 

110 



make up for its sins by establishing foundling asylums. According to our 
famous "morals," there is no paternal feeling towards the illegitimate 
child; that exists only for "legitimate heirs." Through the foundlings' 
asylums the mother also is taken from the new-born child. According to 
the French fiction, foundlings are orphans. In this way, the French 
capitalist class has its illegitimate children brought up, at the 
expense of die state, as "children of the fatherland." A charming 
arrangement. In Germany, things bid fair to be switched on the French 
track. The provisions in the bill for a civil code for the German Empire 
contain maxims on the legal status of illegitimate children, strongly in 
contrast with the humane law still in force. 

According to the bill, a dishonored girl— even if blameless, or seduced 
with the promise of subsequent marriage, or induced to consent to 
coition through some criminal act— has no claim against the seducer 
except as indemnity for the costs of delivery, and for support during 
the first six weeks after the birth of the child, and then only within 
the bounds of what is strictly necessary. Only in some of the cases of 
the worst crimes against morality, can a slight money indemnity be 
granted to the seduced girl, at the discretion of the court, and without 
the necessity of proving actual damages. The illegitimate child has no 
claim upon the seducer of his mother, except for the merest necessaries 
of life, and then only until its fourteenth year. All claims of the 
child on its father are, however, barred if, within pregnancy, any other 
man cohabit with its mother. The plaintiff child has, moreover, to prove 
that its mother has not accepted the embraces of any other man. 

Menger, the expositions in whose treatise 81 we here follow, justly 
raises against the bill the serious charge that it only accrues to the 
advantage of the well-to-do, immoral men, seducers of ignorant girls, 
often girls who sin through poverty, but leaves these fallen girls, 
together with their wholly guiltless children, entirely unprotected, 
aye, pushes them only deeper into misery and crime. Menger cites, in 
this connection, the provisions of the Prussian law. According thereto, 
an unmarried woman or widow of good character, who is made pregnant, is 
to be indemnified by the man according to his means. The indemnity 
shall, however, not exceed one-fourth of his property. An illegitimate 
child has a claim upon its father for support and education, regardless 
of whether his mother is a person of good character: the expenditure, 
however, shall be no higher than the education of a legitimate child 
would cost to people of the peasant or of ordinary citizen walks of 
life. If the illicit intercourse occurred under promise of future 
marriage, then, according to the further provisions of Prussian law, the 
Judge is duly to award the woman, pronounced innocent and a wife, the 
name, standing and rank of the man, together with all the rights of a 
divorced woman. The illegitimate child has, in such cases, all the 
rights of children born in wedlock. We may await with curiosity to see 

111 



whether the provisions of this bill, so hostile to woman, will acquire 
the force of a civil code of law in Germany. But retrogression is the 
key-note in our legislation. 

Between the years of 1830-1880, there were 8,563 cases of infanticide 
before the French court of assizes, the figures rising from 471 in 1831, 
to 980 in 1880. During the same period, 1,032 cases of abortion were 
tried, 41 in 1831, and in 1880 over 100. Of course, only a small part of 
the abortions came to the knowledge of the criminal court; as a rule, 
only when followed by serious illness or death. In the cases of 
infanticide, the country population contributed 15 per cent., in the 
cases of abortion the cities 65 per cent. In the city, the women have 
more means at command to prevent normal birth; hence, the many cases of 
abortion and the small number of infanticides. It is the reverse in the 
country. 

Such is the composition of the picture presented by modern society in 
respect to its most intimate relations. The picture differs wide from 
that that poets and poetically doused phantasists love to paint it. Our 
picture, however, has this advantage,— it is true. And yet the picture 
still calls for several strokes of the brush to bring out its character 
in full. 

In general, there can be no difference of opinion touching the present 
and average mental inferiority of the female sex to the male. True 
enough, Balzac, by no means a woman-lover, claims: "The woman, who has 
received a male education, possesses in fact the most brilliant and 
fruitful qualities for the building of her own happiness and that of her 
husband;" and Goethe, who knew well both the men and women of his times, 
expresses himself in Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship (confessions of a 
pure soul): "Learned women were ridiculed, and also the educated ones 
were disliked, probably because it was considered impolite to put so 
many ignorant men to shame." We agree with both. Nevertheless, the fact 
is no wise altered that, in general, women stand intellectually behind 
the men. This difference is compulsory, because woman is that wliich 
man, as her master, has made her. The education of woman, more so than 
that of the working class, has been neglected since time immemorial; nor 
are latter-day improvements adequate. We live in days when the 
aspiration after exchange of thought glows in all circles, in the family 
also; and there the neglected education of woman is felt as a serious 
fault, and it avenges itself upon the husband. 

The object of the education of man— at least it is so claimed, although 
[because of] the mistaken methods, the object is often missed, perchance, 
also, is not meant to be reached— aims at the development of the 
intellect, the sharpening of the powers of thought, the broadening of 
the held of practical knowledge, and the invigoration of the 

112 



will-power, in short, at the cultivation of the functions of the mind. 
With woman, on the contrary, education, so far as at all attended to in 
a higher degree, is mainly aimed at the intensification of her feelings, 
at formality and polite culture— music, belles-letters, art, poetiy— all 
of which only screw her nervous sensitiveness and phantasy up to a 
higher pitch. This is a mistaken and unhealthy policy. In it the fact 
transpires that the powers, which determine the measure of woman's 
education, are guided only by their ingrained prejudices regarding the 
nature of the female character, and also by the cramped position of 
woman. The object must not be to develop still further the sentimental 
and imaginative side of woman, which would only tend to heighten her 
natural inclination to nervousness; neither should her education be 
limited to etiquette and polite literature. The object, with regard to 
her as to man, should be to develop their intellectual activity and 
acquaint them with the phenomena of practical life. It would be of 
greatest benefit to both sexes if, in lieu of a superfluity of 
sentiment, that often becomes positively uncanny, woman possessed a good 
share of sharpened wit and power for exact reasoning; if, in lieu of 
excessive nervous excitation and timidity, she possessed firmness of 
character and physical courage; in lieu of conventional, literary 
refinement, in so far as she at all has any, she had a knowledge of the 
world, of men and of the powers of nature. 

Generally speaking, what is termed the feeling and spirituality of woman 
has hitherto been nurtured without stint, while her intellectual 
development has, on the contrary, been grossly neglected and kept 
under. As a consequence, she suffers of hypertrophy of feeling and 
spirituality, hence is prone to superstition and miracles,— a more than 
grateful soil for religious and other charlataneries, a pliant tool for 
all reaction. Blockish men often complain when she is thus affected, but 
they bring no relief, because often they are themselves steeped up to 
the ears in prejudices. 

By reason of woman's being almost generally as here sketched, she looks 
upon the world differently from man. Hence, again, a strong source of 
contrariety between the two sexes. 

Participation in public life is to-day one of the most essential duties 
of a man; that many men do not yet understand this does not alter the 
fact. Nevertheless, the number of those is ever increasing who realize 
that public institutions stand in intimate connection with the private 
lot of the individual; that his success or failure, together with that 
of his family, depend infinitely more upon the condition of public 
affairs than upon his own personal qualities and actions. The fact is 
beginning to receive recognition that the greatest efforts of the 
individual are powerless against evils that lie in the very condition of 
things, and that determine his state. On the other hand, the struggle 

113 



for existence now requires much greater efforts than before. Demands are 
now made upon man that engage ever more his time and strength. The 
ignorant, indifferent wife stands dumb before him, and feels herself 
neglected. It may be even said that, the mental difference between man 
and woman is to-day greater than formerly, when the opportunities for 
both were slight and limited, and lay more within the reach of her 
restricted intellect. Furthermore, the handling of public affairs 
occupies to-day a large number of men to a degree before unknown; this 
widens their horizon; but it also withdraws them ever more from the 
mental sphere of their homes. The wife deems herself set back, and thus 
another source of friction is started. Only rarely does the husband know 
how to pacify his wife and convince her. When he does that, he has 
escaped a dangerous rock. As a rule the husband is of the opinion that 
what he wants does not concern his wife, she does not understand it. He 
takes no pains to enlighten her. "You don't understand such matters," is 
his stereotyped answer, the moment the wife complains that she is 
neglected. Lack of information on the part of wives is promoted by lack 
of sense on the part of most husbands. More favorable relations between 
husband and wife spring up in the rank of the working class in the 
measure that both realize they are tugging at the same rope, and that 
there is but one means towards satisfactory conditions for themselves 
and their family,— the radical reformation of society that shall make 
human beings of them all. In the measure that such insight gains ground 
among the wives of the proletariat, then, despite want and misery, 
their married life is idealized: both now have a common aim, after 
which they strive; and they have an inexhaustible source of mutual 
encouragement .in the mutual interchange of views, whereto their joint 
battle leads them. The number of proletarian women who reach this 
insight is every year larger. Herein lies a movement, that is in process 
of development, and that is fraught with decisive significance for the 
future of mankind. 

In other social strata, the differences in education and views— easily 
overlooked at the beginning of married life, when passion still 
predominates— are felt ever more with ripening years. Sexual passion 
cools off, and its substitution with harmony of thought is all the more 
needful. But, leaving aside whether the husband has any idea of civic 
duties and attends to the same, he, at any rate, thanks to his 
occupation and constant intercourse with the outer world, comes into 
continuous touch with different elements and opinions, on all sorts of 
occasions, and thus floats into an intellectual atmosphere that broadens 
his horizon. As a rule, and in contrast with his wife, he finds himself 
in a state of intellectual molting, while she, on the contrary, [because of] 
her household duties, which engage her early and late, is robbed of 
leisure for further education, and, accordingly, becomes mentally 
stunted and soured. 



114 



The domestic wretchedness in which the majority of wives live to-day, is 
correctly depicted by the bourgeois-minded Gerhard von Amyntor in his 
"Marginal Notes to the Book of Life." 85 In the chapter entitled 
"Deadly Gnat-bites" he says among other things: 

"Not the shocking events, that none remain unvisited by, and that bring, 
here the death of a husband, yonder the moral downfall of a beloved 
child; that lie, here in a long and serious illness, yonder in the 
wrecking of a warmly nursed plan;— not these undermine her (the 
housewife's) freshness and strength. It is the small, daily-recurring 
marrow and bone-gnawing cares.... How many millions of brave little 
house-mothers cook and scour away their vigor of life, their very cheeks 
and roguish dimples, in attending to domestic cares until they become 
crumpled, dried and broke-up mummies. The ever-recurring question, what 
shall be cooked to-day? the ever-recurring necessity of sweeping, and 
beating, and brushing, and dusting is the continuously falling drop that 
slowly, but surely, wears away mind and body. The kitchen-hearth is the 
place where the saddest balances are drawn up between income and 
expense, where the most depressing observations are forced upon the mind 
on the rising dearness of the necessaries of life, and on the ever 
increasing difficulty to earn the needed cash. On the flaming altar, 
where the soup kettle bubbles, youth and mental ease, beauty and good 
humor are sacrificed; and who recognizes in the old care-bent cook, the 
one-time blooming, overbearing, coy-coquette bride in the array of her 
myrtle crown? Already in antiquity the hearth was sacred, near it were 
placed the Lares and patron deities. Let us also hold sacred the hearth 
at which the dutiful German bourgeois house-wife dies a slow death, in 
order to keep the house comfortable, the table covered and the family in 
health." Such is the consolation offered in bourgeois society to the 
wife, who, under the present order of society, is miserably going to 
pieces. 

Those women, who, thanks to their social condition, find themselves in a 
freer state, have, as a rule, a one-sided, superficial education, that, 
combined with inherited female characteristics, manifests itself with 
force. They generally have a taste for mere superficialities; they think 
only about gew-gaws and dress; and thus they seek their mission in the 
satisfaction of a spoiled taste, and the indulgence of passions that 
demand their pay with usury. In their children and the education of 
these they have hardly any interest: they give them too much trouble and 
annoyance, hence are left to the muses and servants, and are later 
passed on to the boarding-schools. At any rate their principal task is 
to raise their daughters as show-dolls, and their sons as pupils for the 
jeuiiesse [doree] (gilded youth) out of which dudedom recruits its 
ranks— that despicable class of men that may be fairly put upon a level 
with procurers. This je uiiesse A/o/ee/ furnishes the chief contingent to 
the seducers of the daughters of the working class. They look upon 

115 



idleness and squandering as a profession. 



116 



CHAPTER II. 

FURTHER CHECKS AND OBSTRUCTIONS TO MARRIAGE 
-NUMERICAL PROPORTION OF THE SEXES-ITS CAUSES 
AND EFFECTS. 

Cast in the mold of the conditions above described, many a feature of 
woman's character took shape, and they reached ever fuller development 
from generation to generation. On these features men love to dwell with 
predilection, but they forget that they are themselves the cause 
thereof, and have promoted with their conduct the defects they now make 
merry about, or censure. Among these widely censured female qualities, 
belong her dreaded readiness of tongue, and passion for gossip; her 
inclination to endless talk over trifles and unimportant things; her 
mental bent for purely external matters, such as dress, and her desire 
to please, together with a resulting proneness to all the follies of 
fashion; lastly, her easily arousable envy and jealousy of the other 
members of her sex. 

These qualities, though in different degrees, manifest themselves 
generally in the female sex from early childhood. They are qualities 
that are born under the pressure of social conditions, and are further 
developed by heredity, example and education. A being irrationally 
brought up, can not bring up others rationally. 

In order to be clear on the causes and development of good or bad 
qualities, whether with the sexes or with whole peoples, the same 
methods must be pursued that modern natural science applies in order to 
ascertain the formation and development of life according to genus and 
species, and to determine their qualities. They are the laws that flow 
from the material conditions for life, laws that life demands, that 
adapt themselves to it, and finally became its nature. 

Man forms no exception to that which holds good in nature for all 
animate creation. Man does not stand outside of nature: looked at 
physiologically, he is the most highly developed animal,— a fact, 
however, that some would deny. Thousands of years ago, although wholly 
ignorant of modern science, the ancients had on many matters affecting 
man, more rational views than the moderns; above all, they gave 
practical application to the views founded on experience. We praise with 
enthusiastic admiration the beauty and strength of the men and women of 
Greece; but the fact is overlooked that, not the happy climate, nor the 
bewitching nature of a territory that stretched along the bay-indented 
sea, but the physical culture and maxims of education, consistently 
enforced by the state, thus affected both the being and the development 
of the population. These measures were calculated to combine beauty, 
strength and suppleness of body with wit and elasticity of mind, both of 

117 



which were transmitted to the descendants. True enough, even then, in 
comparison with man, woman was neglected in point of mental, but not of 
corporal culture. 86 In Sparta, that went furthest in the corporal 
culture of the two sexes, boys and girls went naked until the age of 
puberty, and participated in common in the exercises of the body, in 
games and in wrestling. The naked exposure of the human body, together 
with the natural treatment of natural things, had the advantage that 
sensuous excitement— to-day artificially cultivated by the separation of 
the sexes from early childhood— was then prevented. The corporal make-up 
of one sex, together with its distinctive organs, was no secret to the 
other. There, no play of equivocal words could arise. Nature was nature. 
The one sex rejoiced at the beauty of the other. Mankind will have to 
return to nature and to the natural intercourse of the sexes; it must 
cast off the now-ruling and unhealthy spiritual notions concerning man; 
it must do that by setting up methods of education that fit in with our 
own state of culture, and that may bring on the physical and mental 
regeneration of the race. 

Among us, and especially on the subject of female education, seriously 
erroneous conceptions are still prevalent. That woman also should have 
strength, courage and resolution, is considered heretical, "unwomanly," 
although none would dare deny that, equipped with such qualities, woman 
could protect herself against many ills and inconveniences. Conversely, 
woman is cramped in her physical, exactly as in her intellectual 
development. The irrationalness of her dress plays an important role 
herein. It not only, unconscionably hampers her in her physique, it 
directly ruins her;— and yet, but few physicians dare take a stand 
against the abuse, accurately informed though they are on the 
injuriousness of her dress. The fear of displeasing the patient often 
causes them to hold their tongues, if they do not even flatter her 
insane notions. Modern dress hinders woman in the free use of her limbs, 
it injures her physical growth, and awakens in her a sense of impotence 
and weakness. Moreover, modern dress is a positive danger to her own and 
the health of those who surround her: in the house and on the street, 
woman is a walking raiser of dust. And likewise is the development of 
woman hampered by the strict separation of the sexes, both in social 
intercourse and at school— a method of education wholly in keeping with 
the spiritual ideas that Christianity has deeply implanted in us on all 
matters that regard the nature of man. 

The woman who does not reach the development of her faculties, who is 
crippled in her powers, who is held imprisoned in the narrowest circle 
of thought, and who comes into contact with hardly any but her own 
female relatives,— such a woman can not possibly raise herself above the 
routine of daily life and habits. Her intellectual horizon revolves only 
around the happenings in her own immediate surroundings, family affairs 
and what thereby hangs. Extensive conversations on utter trifles, the 

118 



bent for gossip, are promoted with all might; of course her latent 
intellectual qualities strain after activity and exercise;— whereupon 
the husband, often involved thereby in trouble, and driven to 
desperation, utters imprecations upon qualities that he, the "chief of 
creation," has mainly upon his own conscience. 

With woman— whose face all our social and sexual relations turn toward 
marriage with every fibre of her being— marriage and matrimonial matters 
constitute, quite naturally, a leading portion of her conversation and 
aspirations. Moreover, to the physically w r eaker woman, subjected as she 
is to man by custom and law r s, the tongue is her principal w r eapon against 
him, and, as a matter of course, she makes use thereof. Similarly with 
regard to her severely censured passion for dress and desire to please, 
which reach their frightful acme in the insanities of fashion, and often 
throw fathers and husbands into great straits and embarrassments. The 
explanation lies at hand. To man, woman is, first of all, an object of 
enjoyment. Economically and socially unfree, she is bound to see in 
marriage her means of support; accordingly, she depends upon man and 
becomes a piece of property to him. As a rule, her position is rendered 
still more unfavorable through the general excess ofwomen over men,— a 
subject that will be treated more closely. The disparity intensifies the 
competition ofwomen among themselves; and it is sharpened still more 
because, for a great variety of reasons, a number of men do not many at 
all. Woman is, accordingly, forced to enter into competition for a 
husband with the members of her own sex, by means of the most favorable 
external presentation of her person possible. 

Let the long duration, through many generations, of these evils be taken 
into account. The w r onder will cease that these manifestations, sprung 
from equally lasting causes, have reached their present extreme form. 
Furthermore, perhaps in no age w r as the competition ofwomen for husbands 
as sharp as it is in this, due partly to reasons already given, and 
partly to others yet to be discussed. Finally, the difficulties of 
obtaining a competent livelihood, as w r ell as the demands made by 
society, combine, more than ever before, to turn woman's face towards 
matrimony as an "institute for support." 

Men gladly accept such a state of things: they are its beneficiaries. It 
flatters their pride, their vanity, their interest to play the role of 
the stronger and the master; and, like all other rulers, they are, in 
their role of masters, difficult to reach by reason. It is, therefore, 
all the more in the interest of woman to warm towards the establishment 
of conditions that shall free her from so unworthy a position. Women 
should expect as little help from the men as w r orkingmen do from the 
capitalist class. 

Obseive the characteristics, developed in the struggle for the coveted 

119 



place, on other fields, on the industrial held, for instance, so soon 
as the capitalists face each other. What despicable, even scampish, 
means of warfare are not resorted to! What hatred, envy and passion for 
calumny are not awakened!— observe that, and the explanation stands out 
why similar features turn up in the competition of women for a husband. 
Hence it happens that women, on the average, do not get along among 
themselves as well as men; that even the best female friends lightly 
fall out, if the question is their standing in a man's eye, or 
pleasingness of appearance. Hence also the observation that wherever 
women meet, be they ever such utter strangers, they usually look at one 
another as enemies. With one look they make the mutual discovery of 
ill-matched colors, or wrongly-pinned bows, or any other similar 
cardinal sin. In the look that they greet each other with, the judgment 
can be readily read that each has passed upon the other. It is as if 
each wished to inform the other: "I know better than you how to dress, 
and draw attention upon myself." 

On the other hand, woman is by nature more impulsive than man; she 
reflects less than he; she has more abnegation, is naiver, and hence is 
governed by stronger passions, as revealed by the truly heroic 
self-sacrifice with which she protects her child, or cares for 
relatives, and nurses them in sickness. In the fury, however, this 
passionateness finds its ugly expression. But the good as well as the 
bad sides, with man as well as woman, are influenced, first of all, by 
their social position; favored, or checked, or transfigured. The same 
impulse, that, under unfavorable circumstances, appears as a blemish, 
is, under favorable circumstances, a source of happiness for oneself and 
others. Fourier has the credit of having brilliantly demonstrated how 
the identical impulses of man produce, under different conditions, 
wholly opposite results. 

Running parallel with the effects of mistaken education, are the no less 
serious effects of mistaken or imperfect physical culture upon the 
purpose of nature. All physicians are agreed that the preparation of 
woman for her calling as mother and rearer of children leaves almost 
eveiything to be wished. "Man exercises the soldier in the use of his 
weapons, and the artisan in the handling of his tools; every office 
requires special studies; even the monk has his novitiate. Woman alone 
is not trained for her serious duties of mother." 8 ' Nine-tenths of the 
maidens who marry enter matrimony with almost utter ignorance about 
motherhood and the duties of wedlock. The inexcusable shyness, even on 
the part of mothers, to speak with a grown-up daughter of such important 
sexual duties, leaves the latter in the greatest darkness touching her 
duties towards herself and her future husband. With her entrance upon 
married life, woman enters a territory that is wholly strange to her. 
She has drawn to herself a fancy-picture thereof— generally from novels 
that are not particularly to be commended— that does not accord with 

120 



reality. 88 Her defective household knowledge, that, as things are 
to-day, is inevitable, even though many a function, formerly naturally 
belonging to the wife, has been removed from her, also furnishes many a 
cause for friction. Some know nothing whatever of household matters: 
They consider themselves too good to bother about them, and look upon 
them as matters that concern the servant girl; numerous others, from the 
ranks of the masses, are prevented, by the struggle for existence, from 
cultivating themselves for their calling as householders: they must be 
in the factory and at work early and late. It is becoming evident that, 
[because of] the development of social conditions, the separate household 
system is losing ground every day; and that it can be kept up only at 
the sacrifice of money and time, neither of which the great majority is 
able to expend. 

Yet another cause that destroys the object of marriage to not a few men 
is to be found in the physical debility of many women. Our food, 
housing, methods of work and support, in short, our whole form of life, 
affects us in more ways than one rather harmfully than otherwise. We can 
speak with perfect right of a "nervous age." Now, then, this nervousness 
goes hand in hand with physical degeneration. Anaemia and nervousness 
are spread to an enormous degree among the female sex: They are assuming 
the aspect of a social calamity, that, if it continue a few generations 
longer, as at present, and we fail to place our social organization on a 
normal footing, is urging the race towards its destruction. 89 

With an eye to its sexual mission, the female organism requires 
particular care,— good food, and, at certain periods, the requisite 
rest. Both of these are lacking to the great majority of the female sex, 
at least in the cities and industrial neighborhoods, nor are they to be 
had under modern industrial conditions. Moreover, woman has so 
habituated herself to privation that, for instance, numberless women 
hold it a conjugal duty to keep the tid-bits for the man, and satisfy 
themselves with insufficient nourishment. Likewise are boys frequently 
given the preference over girls in matters of food. The opinion is 
general that woman can accommodate herself, not with less food only, but 
also with food of poorer quality. Hence the sad picture that our female 
youth, in particular, presents to the eyes of the expert. A large 
portion of our young women are bodily weak, anaemic, hyperneivous. The 
consequences are difficulties in menstruation, and disease of the organs 
connected with the sexual purpose, the disease often assuming the 
magnitude of incapacity to give birth and to nurse the child, even of 
danger to life itself. "Should this degeneration of our women continue 
to increase in the same measure as before, the time may not be far away 
when it will become doubtful whether man is to be counted among the 
mammals or not." 90 Instead of a healthy, joyful companion, of a 
capable mother, of a wife attentive to her household duties, the husband 
has on his hands a sick, nervous wife, wiiose house the physician never 

121 



quits, who can stand no draught, and can not bear the least noise. We 
shall not expatiate further on this subject. Every reader— and as often 
as in this book we speak of "reader," we mean, of course, the female as 
well as the male— can himself further fill the picture: he has 
illustrations enough among his own relatives and acquaintances. 

Experienced physicians maintain that the larger part of married women, 
in the cities especially, are in a more or less abnormal condition. 
According to the degree of the evil and the character of the couple, 
such unions can not choose but be unhappy, and, they give the husband 
the right, in public opinion, to allow himself freedoms outside of the 
marriage bed, the knowledge of which throws the wife into the most 
wretched of moods. Furthermore the, at times, very different sexual 
demands of one party or the other give occasion to serious friction, 
without the so much wished-for separation being possible. A great 
variety of considerations render that, in most cases, out of all 
question. 

Under this head the fact may not be suppressed that a considerable 
number of husbands are diemselves responsible for certain serious 
physical ailments of their wives, ailments that these are not 
infrequently smitten with in mairiage. As consequences of the excesses 
indulged in during bachelorship, a considerable number of men suffer of 
chronic sexual diseases, which, seeing these cause them no serious 
inconvenience, are taken lightly. Nevertheless, through sexual 
intercourse with the wife, these diseases bring upon her disagreeable, 
even fatal troubles of the womb, that set in, soon after marriage, and 
often develop to the point of rendering her unable to conceive or to 
give birth. The wretched woman usually has no idea of the cause of the 
sickness, that depresses her spirits, embitters her life, and uproots 
the purpose of marriage. She blames herself, and accepts blame for a 
condition, that the other party is alone responsible for. Thus many a 
blooming wife falls, barely married, a prey to chronic malady, 
unaccountable to either herself or her family. 

"As recent investigations have proved, this circumstance— that, as a 
result of gonorrhea, the male sperm no longer contains any seed-cells, 
and the man is, consequently, incapacitated for life from begetting 
children— is a compaiatively frequent cause of matrimonial baireimess, 
in contiadiction to the old and convenient tradition of the lords of 
creation, who are ever ready to sliift to the shoulder of the wife the 
responsibility for the absence of the blessing of cluldren." 91 

Accordingly, a large number of causes are operative in preventing modern 
married life, in the large majority of instances, from being that which 
it should be:— a union of two beings of opposite sexes, who, out of 
mutual love and esteem, wish to belong to each other, and, in the 

122 



striking sentence of Kant, mean, jointly, to constitute the complete 
human being. It is, therefore, a suggestion of doubtful value— made even 
by learned folks, who imagine thereby to dispose of woman's endeavors 
after emancipation— that she look to domestic duties, to marriage,— to 
marriage, that our economic conditions are ever turning into a viler 
caricature, and that answers its purpose ever less! 

The advice to woman that she seek her salvation in marriage, this being 
her real calling,— an advice that is thoughtlessly applauded by the 
majority of men— sounds like the merest mockery, when both the advisers 
and their claqueuis do the opposite. Schopenhauer, the philosopher, 
has of woman only the conception of the philistine. He says: "Woman is 
not meant for much work. Her characteristicon is not action but 
suffering. She pays the debt of life with the pains of travail, 
anxiety for the child, subjection to man. The strongest utterances of 
life and sentiment are denied her. Her life is meant to be quieter and 
less important than man's. Woman is destined for muse and educator of 
infancy, being herself infant-like, and an infant for life, a sort of 
intermediate stage between the child and the man, who is the real 
being.... Girls should be trained for domesticity and subjection.... 
Women are the most thorough-paced and incuiable Philistines." 

In the same spirit as Schopenhauer, who, of course, is greatly quoted, 
is cast Lombroso and Ferrerro's work, "Woman as a Criminal and a 
Prostitute." We know no scientific work of equal size— it contains 590 
pages— with such a dearth of valid evidence on the theme therein 
treated. The statistical matter, from which the bold conclusions are 
drawn, is mostly meager. Often a dozen instances suffice the joint 
authors to draw the weightiest deductions. The matter that may be 
considered the most valuable in the work is, typically enough, furnished 
by a woman,— Dr. Tarnowskaja. The influence of social conditions, of 
cultural development, is left almost wholly on one side. Everything is 
judged exclusively from the physiologico-psychologic view-point, while a 
large quantity of ethnographic items of information on various peoples 
is woven into the argument, without submitting these items to closer 
scrutiny. According to the authors, just as with Schopenhauer, woman is 
a grown child, a liar pai' excellence, weak of judgment, fickle in 
love, incapable of any deed truly heroic. They claim the inferiority of 
woman to man is manifest from a large number of bodily differences. 
"Love, with woman, is as a rule nothing but a secondary feature of 
maternity,— all the feelings of attachment that bind woman to man arise, 
not from sexual impulses, but from the instincts of subjection and 
resignation, acquired through habits of conformancy." How these 
"instincts" were acquired and "conformed" themselves, the joint authors 
fail to inquire into. They would then have had to inquire into the 
social position of woman in the course of thousands of years, and would 
have been compelled to find that it is that that made her what she now 

123 



is. It is true, the joint authors describe partly the enslaved and 
dependent position of woman among the several peoples and under the 
several periods of civilization; but as Darwinians, with blinkers to 
their eyes, they draw all that from physiologic and psychologic, not 
from social and economic reasons, which affected in strongest manner the 
physiologic and psychologic development of woman. 

The joint authors also touch upon the vanity of woman, and set up the 
opinion that, among the peoples who stand on a lower stage of 
civilization, man is the vain sex, as is noticeable to-day in the New 
Hebrides and Madagascar, among the peoples of the Orinoco, and on many 
islands of the Polynesian archipelago, as also among a number of African 
peoples of the South Sea. With peoples standing on a higher plane, 
however, woman is the vain sex. But why and wherefor? To us the answer 
seems plain. Among the peoples of a lower civilization, mother-right 
conditions prevail generally, or have not yet been long overcome. The 
role that woman there plays raises her above the necessity of seeking 
for the man, the man seeks her, and to this end, ornaments himself and 
grows vain. With the people of a higher grade, especially with all the 
nations of civilization, excepting here and there, not the man seeks the 
woman, but the woman him. It happens rarely that a woman openly takes 
the initiative, and offers herself to the man; so-called propriety 
forbids that. In point of fact, however, the offering is done by the 
manner of her appearance; by means of the beauty of dress and luxury, 
that she displays; by the manner in which she ornaments herself, and 
presents herself, and coquets in society. The excess of women, together 
with the social necessity of looking upon matrimony as an institute for 
support, or as an institution through which alone she can satisfy her 
sexual impulse and gain a standing in society, forces such conduct upon 
her. Here also, we notice again, it is purely economic and social causes 
that call forth, one time with man, another with woman, a quality that, 
until now, it was customary to look upon as wholly independent of social 
and economic causes. Hence the conclusion is justified, that so soon as 
society shall arrive at social conditions, under which all dependence of 
one sex upon another shall have ceased, and both are equally free, 
ridiculous vanity and die folly offasliion will vanish, just as so many 
other lices that we consider to-day uneradicable, as supposedly inherent 
in man. Schopenhauer, as a philosopher, judges woman as one-sidedly as 
most of our anthropologists and physicians, who see in her only the 
sexual, never the social, being. Schopenhauer was never married. He, 
accordingly, has not, on his part, contributed towards having one more 
woman pay the "debt of life" that he debits woman with. And this brings 
us to the other side of the medal, which is far from being the 
handsomer. 

Many women do not many, simply because they cannot. Everybody knows 
that usage forbids woman to offer herself. She must allow herself to be 

124 



wooed, i.e., chosen. She herself may not woo. Is there no wooer to be 
had, then she enters the large army of those poor beings who have missed 
the purpose of life, and, in view of the lack of safe material 
foundation, generally fall a prey to want and misery, and but too often 
to ridicule also. But few know what the discrepancy in numbers between 
the two sexes is [because of]; many are ready with the hasty answer: "There 
are too many girls born." Those who make the claim are wrongly 
informed, as will be shown. Others, again, who admit the unnaturalness 
of celibacy, conclude from the fact that women are more numerous than 
men in most countries of civilization, that polygamy should be allowed. 
But not only does polygamy do violence to our customs, it, moreover, 
degrades woman, a circumstance that, of course, does not restrain 
Schopenhauer, with his underestimation of and contempt for women, from 
declaring: "For the female sex, as a whole, polygamy is a benefit." 

Many men do not marry because they think they cannot support a wife, and 
the children that may come, according to their station. To support two 
wives is, however, possible to a small minority only, and among these 
are many who now have two or more wives,— one legitimate and several 
illegitimate. These few, privileged by wealth, are not held back by 
anything from doing what they please. Even in the Orient, where polygamy 
exists for thousands of years by law and custom, comparatively few men 
have more than one wife. People talk of the demoralizing influence of 
Turkish harem life; but the fact is overlooked that this harem life is 
possible only to an insignificant fraction of the men, and then only in 
the ruling class, while the majority of the men live in monogamy. In the 
city of Algiers, there were, at the close of the sixties, out of 18,282 
marriages, not less than 17,319 with one wife only; 888 were with two; 
and only 15 with more than two. Constantinople, the capital of the 
Turkish Empire, would show no materially different result. Among the 
country population in the Orient, the proportion is still more 
pronouncedly in favor of single marriages. In the Orient, exactly as 
with us, the most important factor in the calculation are the material 
conditions, and these compel most men to limit themselves to but one 
wife. If, on the other hand, material conditions were equally favorable 
to all men, polygamy would still not be practicable,— for want of women. 
The almost equal number of the two sexes, prevalent under normal 
conditions, points everywhere to monogamy. 

As proof of these statements, we cite the following tables, that Buecher 
published in an essay. 92 

In these tables the distinction must be kept in mind between the 
enumerated and the estimated populations. In so far as the population 
was enumerated, the fact is expressly stated in the summary for the 
separate main divisions of the earth. The sexes divide themselves in the 
population of several divisions and countries as follows: 

125 



Census 
Countries. Yesx. 

Great Britain and Ire- 
land 1891 

Denmark and Faror . . 1 890 

Norway 1801 

Sweden 1890 

Finland 1889 

Russia 1886 

Poland 1886 

German Empire 1890 

Austria 1880 

Hungary 1880 

Liechtenstein 1886 

Luxemburg 1890 

Holland 1889 

Belgium 1890 

Switzerland 1888 

France 1886 

Spain and the Canary 

Islands 1887 

Gibraltar (Civil popu- 
lation) 1890 

Portugal 1878 

Italy 1881 

Bosnia and Herzego- 
vina .. 1885 

Servia ,. 1890 

Bulgaria 1881 

Roumania 1860 

Greece 1889 

Malta 1890 

Total 



1. EUROPE. 










Females 








for 






. 


Every 
1,000 
Men. 


Males. 


Females. 


Population. 


18,388,756 


19,499,397 


37,888,153 


1,060 


1,065,447 


1,119,712 


2,185,159 


1,052 


951,496 


1,037,501 


1,988,987 


1,090 


2,317,105 


2,467,570 


4,784,675 


1,065 


1,152,111 


1,186,293 


2,338,404 


1,030 


42,499,324 


42,895,885 


85,395,209 


1,009 


3,977,406 


4,279,156 


8,256,562 


1,076 


24,231,832 


25,189,232 


49,421,064 


1,039 


10,819,737 


11,324,507 


22,144,244 


1,047 


7,799,276 


7,939,192 


16,738,468 


1,019 


4,897 


4,696 


9,593 


959 


105,419 


105,669 


211,088 


1,002 


2,228,487 


2,282,925 


4,511,415 


1,024 


3,062,856 


3,084,385 


6,147,041 


1,007 


1,427,377 


1,506,680 


2,934,057 


1,055 


18,900,312 


19,030,447 


37,930,759 


1,007 


8,608,532 


8,950,776 


17,559,308 


1,030 


9,201 


9,326 


18,527 


1,013 


2,175,829 


2,374,870 


4,550,699 


1,091 


14,265,383 


14,194,245 


28,459,628 


995 


705,025 


631,066 


1,336,091 


895 


1,110,731 


1,052,028 


2,162,759 


947 


1,519,953 


1,462,996 


2,982,949 


962 


2,276,558 


2,148,403 


4,424,961 


944 


1,133,625 


1,053,583 


2,187,208 


929 


82,086 


83,576 


165,662 


1,018 


170,818,561 


174,914,119 


345,732,680 


1,024 



126 



B, AMERICA* 



Census 
Countries. Year. 

Danish Greenland 1888 

British North America. 1881 
United States of North 

America 1880 

Bermuda Islands ..... 1890 
Mexico 1882 

North America and 
Islands 

' Nicaragua 1883 

British Honduras 1881 

Cuba 1877 

Porto Rico 1877 

British West ladies. . .1881 
French West Indies. . .1885 
Danish Possessions . . . 1880 
Dutch Colony Curacao.1889 

Central America and 
the West Indies 

British Guiana 1891 

French Guiana 1885 

Dutch Guiana 1880 

Brazil 1872 

Chili 1885 

Falkland Islands 1890 

South America total . . 

Population of America 



Males. 

4,838 
2,288,196 

25,518,820 

7,767 

5,072,054 



Females. 

6,383 

2,229,735 

24,636,963 

8,117 

6,375,920 



Population. 

10,221 

4,517,931 

50,155,783 

15,884 

10,447,974 



Tea? ales 

for 

Every 

1,000 

Men. 



1,112 
974 

966 
1,046 
1,060 



32,891,675 


32,256,118 


65,147,793 


981 


136,249 


146,591 


282,845 


1,076 


14,108 


13,344 


27,452 


946 


850,520 


671,164 


1,521,884 


789 


369,054 


362,504 


731,648 


983 


589,012 


624,132 


1,213,144 


1,060 


176,384 


180,266 


356,630 


1,022 


14,889 


18,874 


33,763 


1,263 


20,234 


25,565 


45,799 


1,263 


2,170,430 


2,042,530 


4,212,665 


941 


151,759 


126,569 


278,328 


834 


15,767 


10,735 


26,502 


681 


30,187 


28,764 


58,951 


953 


5,123,860 


4,806,609 


9,030,478 


038 


1,258,616 


1,268,353 


2,526,069 


1,008 


1,086 


703 


1,789 


647 


6,581,284 


6,241,733 


12,823,017 


949 



41,643,389 40,540,386 82,183,775 973 



127 



3. ASIA. 



Census 
Countries. Tear. 

Busaian Caucasia. 1886 

Siberia, minus Amur 

and Sachalin 1885 

Province Uralsk 1885 

General Province of the 

Prairies 1885 

Province Fergana 1885 

Province Samarkand . . 1885 

Russian Possession*, 
total 

British India, (immedi- 
ate possessions) . 1881 

Tributary States (so 
far known) 1801 

Hong Kong 1889 

Ceylon 1881 

Of the French Posses- 
sions: 

Cambodscha T 

Cochinchina 1889 

Philippines (partly) ..1877 

Japan 1888 

Cyprus 1891 

Total population in 



Males. 


Females. 


Females 

for 

Every 

1,000 

Population. Men. 


3,876,868 


3,407,699 


7,284,567 879 


2,146,411 


2,002,879 


4,149,290 933 


283,915 


263,686 


527,601 990 


926,246 


781,626 


1,707,872 844 


365,461 


350,672 


716,133 959 


335,530 


306,616 


641,146 911 



7,914,431 7,112,178 15,026,609 899 

112,150,120 108,313,980 220,464,100 960 

31,726,910 29,675,150 61,401,060 935 

138,033 66,449 194,482 409 

1,473,515 1,290,469 2,763,984 870 



392,383 

944,146 

2,796,174 

20,008,445 

104387 



422,371 

932,543 

2,762,846 

19,698,789 

104,404 



814,754 1,07« 

1,876,689 988 

5,559,020 988 

39,607,234 979 

209,291 995 



177,648,044 170,269,179 347,917,223 968 



128 



4. AUSTRALIA AND 



Census 
Countries. Year. 

Australia, New Zealand 

(1890) and Tasmania 1 891 

Fiji Islands 1890 

French Possessions (Ta- 
hiti, Marquesas, etc.). 1889 

Hawaii 180O 

Total 



Males. 

2,059,594 
67,902 

11,589 

58,714 



POLYNESIA. 

Females 

for 

Every 

1,000 

Population, men. 



Females. 

1,772,472 
67,780 

10,293 
31,276 



3,832,066 
125,682 

21,882 
80,990 



861 
851 

888 
533 



2,197,799 1,871,821 4,069,620 852 



AFRICA. 



Census 

Countries. Year. Males. Females. 

Egypt 1882 . 3,401,498 3,415,767 

Algeria (minus Sahara) 1886 2,014,013 1,791,071 

Senegal 1889 70,504 76,014 

Gambia 1881 7,215 6,935 

Sierra Leone ; 1881 31,201 29,345 

Lagos 1881 37,665 39,605 

St. Helena 1890 2,020 2,202 

Cnpeland 1890 766,593 759,141 

Natal 1890 268,062 275,851 

Orange Free State: 

White 1890 40,571 37,146 

Black -. . . 1890 67,791 61,996 

Republic : 

White 1890 66,498 62,630 

Black 1890 115,589 144,045 

Reunion 1889 94,430 71,485 

Mayotte 1889 6,761 5,509 

St. Marie de Mada- 
gascar 1888 3,648 4,019 

Total 6,994,064 6,771,360 

•Besides 550,430 children without specification of sex. 



77,716 
129,787 



Females 

for 

Every 

1,000 

Population. Men. 

6,817,265 1,004 

3,805,684 889 

140,518 1,078 

14,150 

©0,546 

75,270 

4,222 1,090 

1,525,739 990 

543,913 1,029 



961 
940 
998 



915 
914 



119,128 791 

259,034 1,246 

165,916 767 

12,270 815 

7,667 1,102 



13,765,424' 968 



Probably the result of this presentation will be astonishing to many. 
With the exception of Europe, where, on an average, there are 1,024 
women to every 1,000 men, the reverse is the case everywhere else. If it 
is further considered that in the foreign divisions of the earth, and 
even there where actual enumeration was had, information upon the female 
sex is particularly defective— a fact that must be presumed with regard 
to all the countries of Mohammedan population, where the figures for the 
female population are probably below the reality— it stands pat that, 
apart from a few European nations, the female sex nowhere tangibly 
exceeds the male. It is otherwise in Europe, the [region] that interests 
us most. Here, with the exception of Italy and the southeast territories 
of Bosnia, Herzegovina, Servia, Bulgaria, Roumania and Greece, the 
female population is everywhere more strongly represented than the male. 
Of the large European countries, the disproportion is slightest in 



129 



France— 1,002 females to every 1,000 males; next in order is Russia, 
with 1,009 females to eveiy 1,000 males. On the other hand, Portugal, 
Norway and Poland, with 1,076 females to eveiy 1,000 males, present the 
strongest disproportion. Next to these stands Great Britain,— 1,060 
females to eveiy 1,000 males. Germany and Austria lie in the middle: 
they have, respectively, 1,039 and 1,047 females to eveiy 1,000 males. 

In the German Empire, the excess of the female over the male population, 
according to the census of December 1, 1890, was 957,400, against 
988,376, according to the census of December 1, 1885. A principal cause 
of this disproportion is emigration, inasmuch as by far more men 
emigrate than women. This is clearly brought out by the opposite pole of 
Germany, the North American Union, which has about as large a deficit in 
women as Germany has a surplus. The United States is the principal 
country for European emigration, and this is mainly made up of males. A 
second cause is the larger number of accidents to men than to women in 
agriculture, the trades, the industries and transportation. Furthermore, 
there are more males than females temporarily abroad,— merchants, 
seamen, marines, etc. All this transpires clearly from the figures on 
the conjugal status. In 1890 there were 8,372,486 married men to 
8,398,607 married women in Germany, i.e., 26,121 more of the latter. 
Another phenomenon, that statistics establish and that weigh heavily in 
the scales, is that, on an average, women reach a higher age than men: 
at the more advanced ages there are more women than men. According to 
the census of 1890 the relation of ages among the two sexes were these: 



Males. Females. 

Below ten years. . . 5,993,681 5,966,226 

lO to 20 veans 5,104,751 5,110,093 

20 to 30 rears 3,947,324 4,055,321 

30 to 40 years 3,090,174 3,216,704 

40 to 50 years 2,471,617 2,059,609 

50 to 60 years 1,826,951 2,041,377 

60 to 70 years 1,177,142 1,391,227 

70 and up 619,192 757,081 

24,230,832 25,197,638 



Excess Excess of 

of Males. Females. 

27,455 

5,342 

107,997 

126,530 

187,992 

214,426 

214,085 

137,889 

27,455 994,261 



This table shows that, up to the tenth year, the number of boys exceeds 
that of girls, due merely to the disproportion in births. Everywhere, 
there are more boys born than girls. In the German Empire, for 
instance, 91 there were born:— 



In the year 1872 to 100 girls 106.2 boys 
In the year 1878 to 100 girls 105.9 boys 



In the year 1884 to 
In the year 1888 to 
In the year 1891 to 



100 girls 106.2 boys 
100 girls 106.0 boys 
100 girls 106.2 boys 



But the male sex dies earlier than the female, and from early childhood 
more boys die than girls. Accordingly, the table shows that, between the 



130 



ages of 10 to 20 the female sex exceeds the male. 
To each 100 females, there died, males:— 95 

In 1872 107.0 In 1884 1O0.2 

In 1878 1IO.S In 1888 107.9 

In 1801 107.5 

The table shows, furthermore, that at the matrimonial age, proper, 
between the ages of 20 and 50, the female sex exceeds the male by 
422,519, and that at the age from 50 to 70 and above, it exceeds the 
male by 566,400. A very strong disproportion between the sexes appears, 
furthermore, among the widowed. 

According to the census of 1890, there were:— 

"Widowers 774,967 

Widows 2,154,870 



Excess of widows over widowers 1,382,903 

Of these widowed people, according to age, there were:— 

Age. Males. Females. 

40-60 222,286 842,020 

60 and over 506,319 1,158,712 

The number of divorced persons was, in 1890: Males, 25,271; females, 
49,601. According to age, they were distributed:— 

Age. 

40-60 

60 and over 



Males. 


Females. 


13,825 


24342 


4,917 


7,244 



These figures tell us that widows and divorced women are excluded from 
remarriage, and at the fittest age for matrimony, at that; there being 
of the age of 15-40, 46,362 widowers and 156,235 widows, 6,519 divorced 
men and 17,515 divorced women. These figures furnish further proof of 
the injury that divorce entails to married women. 

In 1890, there were unmarried:— 96 

Age. Males. Females. 

16-40 5,845,933 6,191,453 

40-60 375,881 503,400 

60 and over 130,154 230,906 

Accordingly, among the unmarried population between the ages of 15 and 
40, the male sex is stronger by 654,480 than the female. This 
circumstance would seem to be favorable for the latter. But males 
between the ages of 15 and 21 are, with few exceptions, not in condition 
to marry. Of that age there were 3,590,622 males to 3,774,025 females. 



131 



Likewise with the males of the age of 21-25, a large number are not in a 
position to start a family: we have but to keep in mind the males in the 
army, students, etc. On the other side, all women of this age period are 
marriageable. Taking further into consideration that for a great variety 
of reasons, many men do not many at all— the number of unmarried males 
of 40 years of age and over alone amounted to 506,035, to which must be 
added also the widowed and divorced males, more than two million 
strong— it follows that the situation of the female sex with regard to 
marriage is decidedly unfavorable. Accordingly, a large number of women 
are, under present circumstances, forced to renounce the legitimate 
gratification of their sexual instincts, while the males seek and find 
solace in prostitution. The situation would instantaneously change for 
women with the removal of the obstacles that keep to-day many hundreds 
of thousands of men from setting up a married home, and from doing 
justice to their natural instincts in a legitimate manner. For that the 
existing social system must be upturned. 

As already observed, emigration across the seas is, in great part, 
responsible for the disproportion in the number of the sexes. In the 
years 1872-1886, on an average, more than 10,000 males left the country 
in excess of females. For a period of fifteen years, that runs up to 
150,000 males, most of them in the very vigor of life. Military duties 
also drive abroad many young men, and the most vigorous, at that. In 
1 893, according to the report officially submitted to the Reichstag on 
the subject of substitutes in the army, 25,851 men were sentenced for 
emigrating without leave, and 14,522 more cases were under investigation 
on the same charge. Similar figures recur from year to year - . The loss in 
men that Germany sustains from this unlawful emigration is considerable 
in the course of a century. Especially strong is emigration during the 
years that follow upon great wars. That appears from the figures after 
1866 and between 1871 and 1874. We sustain, moreover, severe losses in 
male life from accidents. In the course of the years 1887 to 1892, the 
number of persons killed in the trades, agriculture, state and municipal 
undertakings, ran up to 30,568 9 ', of whom only a small fraction were 
women. Furthermore, another and considerable number of persons engaged 
in these occupations are crippled for life by accidents, and are 
disabled from starting a family; others die early and leave their 
families behind in want and misery. Great loss in male life is also 
connected with navigation. In the period between 1882-1891, 1,485 ships 
were lost on the high seas, whereby 2,436 members of crew r s— with few r 
exceptions males— and 747 passengers perished. 

Once the right appreciation of life is had, society will prevent the 
large majority of accidents, particularly in navigation; and such 
appreciation will touch its highest point under Socialist order. In 
numberless instances human life, or the safety of limb, is sacrificed to 
misplaced economy on the part of employers, who recoil before any outlay 

132 



for protection; in many others the tiled condition of the workman, or 
the hurry he must work in, is the cause. Human life is cheap; if one 
workingman goes to pieces, three others are at hand to take his place. 

On the domain of navigation especially, and aided by the difficulty of 
control, many unpardonable wrongs are committed. Through the revelations 
made during the seventies by Plimsoll in the British Parliament, the 
fact has become notorious that many shipowners, yielding to criminal 
greed, take out high insurances for vessels that are not seaworthy, and 
unconscionably expose them, together with their crews, to the slightest 
weather at sea,— all for the sake of the high insurance. These are the 
so-called "coffin-ships," not unknown in Germany, either. The steamer 
"Braunschweig," for instance, that sank in 1881 near Helgoland, and 
belonged to the firm Rocholl & Co., of Bremen, proved to have been put 
to sea in a wholly unseaworthy condition. The same fate befell, in 1889, 
the steamer "Leda" of the same firm; hardly out at sea, she went to the 
bottom. The boat was insured with the Russian Lloyd for 55,000 rubles; 
the prospect of 8,500 rubles were held out to the captain, if he took 
her safe to Odessa; and the captain, in turn, paid the pilot the 
comparatively high wage of 180 rubles a month. The verdict of the Court 
of Admiralty was that the accident was [because of] the fact that the "Leda " 
was unseaworthy and unfit to be taken to Odessa. The license was 
withdrawn from the captain. According to existing laws, the real guilty 
parties could not be reached. No year goes by without our Court of 
Admiralty having to pass upon a larger number of accidents at sea, to 
the effect that the accident was [because of] vessels being too old, or too 
heavily loaded, or in defective condition, or insufficiently equipped; 
sometimes to several of these causes combined. With a good many of the 
lost ships, the cause of accident can not be established: they have gone 
down in midocean, and no survivor remains to tell the tale. Likewise are 
the coast provisions for the saving of shipwrecked lives both defective 
and insufficient; they are dependent mainly upon private charity. The 
case is even more disconsolate along distant and foreign coasts. A 
commonwealth that makes the promotion of the well-being of all its 
highest mission will not fail to so improve navigation, and provide it 
with protective measures that these accidents would be of rare 
occurrence. But the modern economic system of rapine, that weighs men as 
it weighs figures, to the end of whacking out the largest possible 
amount of profit, not infrequently destroys a human life if thereby 
there be in it but the profit of a dollar. With the change of society in 
the Socialist sense, immigration, in its present shape, also would drop; 
the flight from military service would cease; suicide in the Army would 
be no more. 

The picture drawn from our political and economic life shows that woman 
also is deeply interested therein. Whether the period of military 
service be shortened or not; whether the Army be increased or not; 

133 



whether the country pursues a policy of peace or one of war; whether the 
treatment allotted to the soldier be worthy or unworthy of human beings; 
and whether as a result thereof the number of suicides and desertions 
rise or drop;— all of these aie questions that concern woman as much as 
man. Likewise with the economic and industrial conditions and in 
transportation, in all of which branches the female sex, furthermore, 
steps from year to year more numerously as working-women. Bad 
conditions, and unfavorable circumstances injure woman as a social and 
as a sexual being; favorable conditions and satisfactory circumstances 
benefit her. 

But there are still other momenta that go to make marriage difficult or 
impossible. A considerable number of men are kept from marriage by the 
state itself. People pucker up their brows at the celibacy imposed upon 
Roman Catholic clergymen; but these same people have not a word of 
condemnation for the much larger number of soldiers who also are 
condemned thereto. The officers not only require the consent of their 
superiors, they are also limited in the choice of a wife: the regulation 
prescribes that she shall have property to a certain, and not 
insignificant, amount. In this way the Austrian corps of officers, for 
instance, obtained a social "improvement" at the cost of the female sex. 
Captains rose by fully 8,000 guilders, if above thirty years of age, 
while the captains under thirty years of age were thenceforth hard to be 
had, in no case for a smaller dower than 30,000. "Now a 'Mrs. Captain,'" 
it was thus reported in the "Koelnische Zeitung" from Vienna, "who until 
now was often a subject of pity for her female colleagues in the 
administrative departments, can hold her head higher by a good deal; 
everybody now knows that she has wherewith to live. Despite the greatly 
increased requirements of personal excellence, culture and rank, the 
social status of the Austrian officer was until then rather indefinite, 
partly because very prominent gentlemen stuck fast to the Emperor's coat 
pocket; partly because many poor officers could not make a shift to live 
without humiliation, and many families of poor officers often played a 
pitiful role. Until then, the officer who wished to many had, if the 
thirty-year line was crossed, to qualify in joint property to the amount 
of 12,000 guilders, or in a 600-guilder side income, and even at this 
insignificant income, hardly enough for decency, the magistrates often 
shut their eyes, and granted relief. The new marriage regulations are 
savagely severe, though the heart break. The captain under thirty must 
forthwith deposit 30,000 guilders; over thirty years of age, 20,000 
guilders; from staff officers up to colonels, 16,000 guilders. Over and 
above this, only one-fourth of the officers may marry without special 
grace, while a spotless record and corresponding rank is demanded of the 
bride. This all holds good for officers of the line and army surgeons. 
For other military officials with the rank of officer, the new marriage 
regulations are milder; but for officers of the general staff still 
severer. The officer who is detailed to the captain of the general staff 

134 



may not thereafter marry; the actual captain of the staff, if below 
thirty, is required to give security in 36,000 guilders, and later 
24,000 more." In Germany and elsewhere, there are similar regulations. 
Also the corps of under-officers is subject to hampering regulations 
with regard to marriage, and require besides the consent of their 
superior officers. These are very drastic proofs of the puiely 
materialistic conception that the state has of marriage. 

In general, public opinion is agreed that marriage is not advisable for 
men under twenty-four or twenty-five years of age. Twenty-five is the 
marriageable age for men fixed by the civil code, with an eye to the 
civic independence that, as a rule, is not gained before that age. Only 
with persons who are in the agreeable position of not having to first 
conquer independence— with people of princely rank— does public opinion 
consider it proper when occasionally the men many at the age of 
eighteen or nineteen, the girls at that of fifteen or sixteen. The 
Prince is declared of age with his eighteenth year, and considered 
capable to govern a vast empire and numerous people. Common mortals 
acquire the right to govern their possible property only at the age of 
twenty-one. 

The difference of opinion as to the age when marriage is desirable shows 
that public opinion judges by the social standing of the bride and 
bridegroom. Its reasons have nothing to do with the human being as a 
natural entity, or with its natural instincts. It happens, however, that 
nature's impulses do not yoke themselves to social conditions, nor to 
the views and prejudices that spring from them. So soon as man has 
reached maturity, the sexual instincts assert themselves with force; 
indeed, they are the incarnation of the human being, and they demand 
satisfaction from the mature being, at the peril of severe physical and 
mental suffering. 

The age of sexual ripeness differs according to individuals, climate and 
habits of life. In the warm zone it sets in with the female sex, as a 
rule, at the age of eleven to twelve years, and not infrequently are 
women met with there, who, already at that age, cany offspring on their 
arms; but at their twenty-fifth or thirtieth year, these have lost their 
bloom. In the temperate zone, the rule with the female sex is from the 
fourteenth to the sixteenth year, in some cases later. Likewise is the 
age of puberty different between country and city women. With healthy, 
robust country girls, who move much in the open air and work vigorously, 
menstruation sets in later, on the average, than with our badly 
nourished, weak, hyperneivous, ethereal city young ladies. Yonder, 
sexual maturity develops normally, with rare disturbances; here a normal 
development is the exception: all manner of illnesses set in, often 
driving the physician to desperation. How often are not physicians 
compelled to declare that, along with a change of life, the most radical 

135 



cure is marriage. But how apply such a cure? Insuperable obstacles rise 
against the proposition. 

All this goes to show where the change must be looked for. In the first 
place, the point is to make possible a totally different education, one 
that takes into consideration the physical as well as the mental being; 
in the second place, to establish a wholly different system of life and 
of work. But both of these are, without exception, possible for all only 
under wholly different social conditions. 

Our social conditions have raised a violent contradiction between man, 
as a natural and sexual being, on the one hand, and man as a social 
being on the other. The contradiction has made itself felt at no period 
as strongly as at this; and it produces a number of diseases into whose 
nature we will go no further, but that affect mainly the female sex: in 
the first place, her organism depends, in much higher degree than that 
of man, upon her sexual mission, and is influenced thereby, as shown by 
the regular recurrence of her periods; in the second place, most of the 
obstacles to marriage lie in the way of worn [a] n, preventing her from 
satisfying her strongest natural impulse in a natural manner. The 
contradiction between natural want and social compulsion goes against 
the grain of nature; it leads to secret vices and excesses that 
undermine every organism but the strongest. 

Unnatural gratification, especially with the female sex, is often most 
shamelessly promoted. More or less underhandedly, certain preparations 
are praised, and they are recommended especially in the advertisements 
of most of the papers that penetrate into the family circle as 
especially devoted to its entertainment. These puffs are addressed 
mainly to the better situated portion of society, seeing the prices of 
the preparations are so high that a family of small means can hardly 
come by them. Side by side with these shameless advertisements are found 
the puffs— meant for the eyes of both sexes— of obscene pictures, 
especially of whole series of photographs, of poems and prose works of 
similar stripe, aimed at sexual incitation, and that call for the action 
of police and District Attorneys. But these gentlemen are too busy with 
the "civilization, marriage and family-destroying" Socialist movement to 
be able to devote full attention to such machinations. A part of our 
works of fiction labors in the same direction. The wonder would be if 
sexual excesses, artificially incited, besides, failed to manifest 
themselves in unhealthy and harmful ways, and to assume the proportions 
of a social disease. 

The idle, voluptuous life of many women in the property classes; their 
refilled measures of nervous stimulants; their overfeeding with a certain 
kind of artificial sensation, cultivated in certain lines on the 
hothouse plan, and often considered the principal topic of conversation 

136 



and sign of culture by that portion of the female sex that suffers of 
hypersensitiveness and nervous excitement;— all this incites still more 
the sexual senses, and naturally leads to excesses. 

Among the poor, it is certain exhausting occupations, especially of a 
sedentary nature, that promotes congestion of blood in the abdominal 
organs, and promotes sexual excitation. One of the most dangerous 
occupations in this direction is connected with the, at present, widely 
spread sewing machine. This occupation works such havoc that, with ten 
or twelve hours' daily w r ork, the strongest organism is ruined within a 
few years. Excessive sexual excitement is also promoted by long horns of 
w r ork in a steady high temperature, for instance, sugar refineries, 
bleacheries, cloth-pressing establishments, night w r ork by gaslight in 
overcrowded rooms, especially when both sexes w r ork together. 

A succession of further phenomena has been here unfolded, sharply 
illustrative of the [irrationality] and unhealthiness of modern 
conditions. These are evils deeply rooted in our social state of things, 
and removable neither by the moral sermonizings nor the palliatives that 
religious quacks of the male and female sexes have so readily at hand. 
The axe must be laid to the root of the evil. The question is to bring 
about a natural system of education, together with healthy conditions of 
life and w r ork, and to do this in amplest manner, to the end that the 
normal gratification of natural and healthy instincts be made possible 
for all. 

As to the male sex, a number of considerations are absent that are 
present with the female sex. [because of] his position as master, and in so 
far as social barriers do not hinder him, there is on the side of man 
the free choice of love. On the other hand, the character of marriage as 
an institution for support, the excess of women, custom;— all these 
circumstances conspire to prevent woman from manifesting her will; they 
force her to w r ait till she is wanted. As a rule, she seizes gladly the 
opportunity, soon as offered, to reach the hand to the man who redeems 
her from the social ostracism and neglect, that is the lot of that poor 
w r aif, the "old maid." Often she looks down with contempt upon those of 
her sisters who have yet preserved their self-respect, and have not sold 
themselves into mental prostitution to the first comer, preferring to 
tread single the thorny path of life. 

On the other hand, social considerations tie down the man, who desires 
to reach by marriage the gratification of his life's requirements. He 
must put himself the question: Can you support a wife, and the children 
that may come, so that pressing cares, the destroyers of your happiness, 
may be kept aw r ay? The better his marital intentions are, the more 
ideally he conceives them, the more he is resolved to w r ed only out of 
love, all the more earnestly must he put the question to himself. To 

137 



many, the affirmative answer is, under the present economic conditions, 
a matter of impossibility: they prefer to remain single. With other and 
less conscientious men, another set of considerations crowd upon the 
mind. Thousands of men reach an independent position, one in accord with 
their wants, only comparatively late. But they can keep a wife in a 
style suitable to their station only if she has large wealth. True 
enough, many young men have exaggerated notions on the requirements of a 
so-called life "suitable to one's station." Nevertheless, they can not 
be blamed— as a result of the false education above described, and of 
the social habits of a large number of women,— for not guarding against 
demands from that quarter that are far beyond their powers. Good women, 
modest in their demands, these men often never come to know. These 
women are retiring; they are not to be found there where such men have 
acquired the habit of looking for a wife; while those whom they meet are 
not infrequently such as seek to win a husband by means of their looks, 
and are intent, by external means, by show, to deceive him regarding 
their personal qualities and material conditions. The means of seduction 
of all sorts are plied all the more diligently in the measure that these 
ladies come on in years, when marriage becomes a matter of hot haste. 
Does any of these succeed in conquering a husband, she has become so 
habituated to show, jewelry, finery and expensive pleasures, that she is 
not inclined to forego them in marriage. The superficial nature of her 
being crops up in all directions, and therein an abyss is opened for the 
husband. Hence many prefer to leave alone the flower that blooms on the 
edge of the precipice, and that can be plucked only at the risk of 
breaking their necks. They go their ways alone, and seek company and 
pleasure under the protection of their freedom. Deception and swindle 
are practices everywhere in full swing in the business life of 
capitalist society: no wonder they are applied also in contracting 
marriage, and that, when they succeed, both parties are drawn into 
common sorrows. 

According to E. Ansell, the age of marriage among the cultured and 
independent males of England was, between 1840-1871, on an average 29.25 
years. Since then the average has risen for many classes, by at least 
one year. For the different occupations, the average age of marriage, 
between 1880-1885, was as follows:— 

Occupations. Age. 

Miners 23.66 

Textile workers 23.88 

Shoemakers and tailors 24.42 

Skilled laborers 24.85 

Say laborers 26.06 

Clerks 26.75 

Retailers 26.17 

Farmers and their sons 28.73 

Men of culture and men of independent means .... 30.72 

These figures give striking proof of how social conditions and standing 



138 



affect marriage. 

The number of men who, for several reasons, are kept from marrying is 
ever on the increase. It is especially in the so-called upper ranks and 
occupations that the men often do not many, partly because the demands 
upon them are too great, partly because it is just the men of these 
social strata who seek and find pleasure and company elsewhere. On the 
other hand, conditions are particularly unfavorable to women in places 
where many pensionaries and their families, but few young men, have 
their homes. In such places, the number of women who cannot many rises 
to 20 or 30 out of every 100. The deficit of candidates for marriage 
affects strongest those female strata that, through education and social 
position, make greater pretensions, and yet, outside of their persons, 
have nothing to offer the man who is looking for wealth. This concerns 
especially the female members of those numerous families that live upon 
fixed salaries, are considered socially "respectable," but are without 
means. The life of the female being in this stratum of society is, 
comparatively speaking, the saddest of all those of her 
fellow-sufferers . It is out of these strata that is mainly recruited the 
most dangerous competition for the working-women in the embroidering, 
seamstress, flower-making, millinery, glove and straw hat sewing; in 
short, all the branches of industry that the employer prefers to have 
carried on at the homes of the working-women. These ladies work for the 
lowest wages, seeing that, in many cases, the question with them is not 
to earn a full livelihood, but only something over and above that, or to 
earn the outlay for a better wardrobe and for luxury. Employers have a 
predilection for the competition of these ladies, so as to lower the 
earnings of the poor working-woman and squeeze the last drop of blood 
from her veins: it drives her to exert herself to the point of 
exhaustion. Also not a few wives of government employees, whose husbands 
are badly paid, and can not afford them a "life suitable to their rank," 
utilize their leisure moments in this vile competition that presses so 
heavily upon wide strata of the female working class. 

The activity on the part of the bourgeois associations of women for the 
abolition of female labor and for the admission of women to the higher 
professions, at present mainly, if not exclusively, appropriated by men, 
aims principally at procuring a position in life for women from the 
social circles just sketched. In order to secure for their efforts 
greater prospects of success, these associations have loved to place 
themselves under the protectorate of higher and leading ladies. The 
bourgeois females imitate herein the example of the bourgeois males, who 
likewise love such protectorates, and exert themselves in directions 
that can bring only small, never laige results. A Sisyphus work is 
thus done with as much noise as possible, to the end of deceiving 
oneself and others on the score of the necessity for a radical change. 
The necessity is also felt to do all that is possible in order to 

139 



suppress all doubts regarding die wisdom of die foundations of our 
social and political organization, and to prescribe them as treasonable. 
The conservative nature of these endeavors prevents bourgeois 
associations of women from being seized with so-called destructive 
tendencies. When, accordingly, at the Women's Convention of Berlin, in 
1 894, the opinion was expressed by a minority that the bourgeois women 
should go hand and hand with the working-women, i.e., with their 
Socialist citizens, a storm of indignation w r ent up from the majority. 
But the bourgeois women will not succeed in pulling themselves out of 
the quagmire by their own topknots. 

How r large the number is ofwomen wiio, by reason of the causes herein 
cited, must renounce married life, is not accurately ascertainable. In 
Scotland, the number of unmarried women of the age of twenty years and 
over w r as, towards the close of the sixties, 43 per cent, of the female 
population, and there w r ere 110 women to every 100 men. In England, 
outside of Wales, there lived at that time 1,407,228 more women than men 
of the age of 20 to 40, and 359,966 single women of over forty years of 
age. Of each 100 women 42 w r ere unmarried. 

The surplus of women that Germany owns is very unevenly distributed in 
point of territories and age. According to the census of 1890, it 
stood:— 98 



Xo Every 

Divisions. Under 15. 

Berlin 1,014 

Kingdom of Saxony 1,020 

Kingdom of Bavaria., on the 

right of the Rhine 1,022 

On the left of the Rhine. . 086 

Wurtemberg 1,021 

Baden l,OQ6 

Hamburg l,0O3 

Province of Brandenburg. . . 986 

Province of Pommern 984 

Province of Rhineland 984 

German Empire 995 



1,000 


Males, Females of 


the Age of 




15-40. 


40-60. 


Over 60. 


1,056 


1,108 


1,666 


1,032 


1,112 


1,326 


1,040 


1,081 


1,155 


1,024 


1,065 


1,175 


1,076 


1,135 


1,158 


1,027 


1,099 


1,175 


967 


1,042 


1,522 


081 


1,085 


1,261 


1,053 


1,126 


1.191 


990 


l.OlO 


1,087 



1,027 



1,004 



1,196 



Accordingly, of marriageable age proper, 15-40, the surplus ofwomen in 
the German Empire amounts to 27 women to every 1,000 men. Seeing that, 
within these age periods, there are 9,429,720 male to 9,682,454 female 
inhabitants, there is a total female surplus of 252,734. In the same 
four age periods, the proportion of the sexes in other countries of 
Europe and outside of Europe stood as follow^:— 99 



140 



To Every 1,000 Maloa, Ftm&It* of 
the Age of 

OOand 

Countries. Under 15. 15-40. 40-60. Over. 

Belgium (1800) 002 084 1,018 1,117 

Bulgaria. ( 1888) 950 1,068 837 047 

Denmark ( 1890) 078 1,080 1,073 1,179 

France (1886) OSO 1,003 1,006 1,063 

England and Wales (1801).1,006 1,075 1.O06 1,227 

Scotland (1891) 973 1,073 1,165 1,389 

Ireland (1891) 966 1,036 1,109 1,068 

Italy (1881) 963 1,021 l.OOS 980 

Luxemburg (1891) 996 997 1,004 1,042 

Holland (1889) 990 1,022 1,035 1,154 

Austria. (1890) 1,005 1,046 1,079 1,130 

Hungary (1890) l.OOl 1,040 996 1.O00 

Sweden (1890) 975 1,062 1,140 1,242 

Switzerland (1888) 999 1,059 1,103 1,148 

Japan ( 1891) 978 962 951 1,146 

Cape of Good Hope (1891). 989 1,008 939 1,019 

It is seen that all countries of the same or similar economic structure 
reveal the identical conditions with regard to the distribution of the 
sexes according to ages. According thereto, and apart from all other 
causes already mentioned, a considerable number of women have in such 
countries no prospect of entering wedded life. The number of unmarried 
women is even still larger, because a large number of men prefer, for 
all sorts of reasons, to remain single. What say hereto those 
superficial folks, who oppose the endeavor of women after a more 
independent, equal-righted position in life, and who refer them to 
marriage and domestic life? The blame does not lie with the women that 
so many of them do not marry; and how matters stand with "conjugal 
happiness" has been sufficiently depicted. 

What becomes of the victims of our social conditions? The resentment of 
insulted and injured nature expresses itself in the peculiar facial 
lines and characteristics whereby so-called old maids, the same as old 
ascetic bachelors, stamp themselves different from other human beings in 
all countries and all climates; and it gives testimony of the mighty and 
harmful effect of suppressed natural love. Nymphomania with women, and 
numerous kinds of hysteria, have their origin in that source; and also 
discontent in married life produces attacks of hysteria, and is 
responsible for barrenness. 

Such, in main outlines, is our modern married life and its effects. The 
conclusion is: Modern inairiage is an institution that is closely 
connected with the existing social condition, and stands or falls with 
it. But this inairiage is in the couise of dissolution and decay, exactly 
as capitalist society itself— -because, as demonstrated under the 
several heads on the subject of marriage: 

1 . Relatively, the number of births declines, although population 
increases on the whole,— showing that the condition of the family 
deteriorates. 



141 



2. Actions for divorce increase in numbers, considerably more than does 
population, and, in the majority of cases, the plaintiffs are women, 
although, both economically and socially, they are the greatest 
sufferers thereunder,— showing that the unfavorable factors, that 
operate upon marriage, are on the increase, and marriage, accordingly, 

is dissolving and falling to pieces. 

3. Relatively, the number of marriages is on the decline, although 
population increases,— showing again that marriage, in the eyes of many, 
no longer answers its social and moral purposes, and is considered 
worthless, or dangerous. 

4. In almost all the countries of civilization there is a disproportion 
between the number of the sexes, and to the disadvantage of the female 
sex, and the disproportion is not caused by births— there are, on the 
average, more boys born than girls,— but is [because of] unfavorable social 
and political causes, that lie in the political and economic conditions. 

Seeing that all these unnatural conditions, harmful to woman in 
paiticulai; are grounded in the natuie of capitalist society, and grow 
worse as tliis social system continues, the same proves itself unable to 
end the evil and emancipate woman. Another social order is, accordingly, 
requisite thereto. 



142 



CHAPTER III. 

PROSTITUTION- A NECESSARY SOCIAL 
INSTITUTION OF THE CAPITALIST WORLD. 

Marriage presents one side of the sexual life of the capitalist or 
bourgeois world; prostitution presents the other. Marriage is the 
obverse, prostitution the reverse of the medal. If men find no 
satisfaction in wedlock, then they usually seek the same in 
prostitution. Those men, who, for whatever reason, renounce married 
life, also usually seek satisfaction in prostitution. To those men, 
accordingly, who, whether out of their free will or out of compulsion, 
live in celibacy, as well as to those whom marriage does not offer what 
was expected of it, conditions are more favorable for the gratification 
of the sexual impulse than to women. 

Man ever has looked upon the use of prostitution as a privilege due him 
of right. All the harder and severer does he keep guard and pass 
sentence when a woman, who is no prostitute, commits a "slip." That 
woman is instinct with the same impulses as man, aye, that at given 
periods of her life (at menstruation) these impulses assert themselves 
more vehemently than at others,— that does not trouble him. In virtue of 
his position as master, he compels her to violently suppress her most 
powerful impulses, and he conditions both her character in society and 
her marriage upon her chastity. Nothing illustrates more drastically, 
and also revoltingly, the dependence of woman upon man than this 
radically different conception regarding the gratification of the 
identical natural impulse, and the radically different measure by which 
it is judged. 

To man, circumstances are particularly favorable. Nature has devolved 
upon woman the consequences of the act of generation: outside of the 
enjoyment, man has neither trouble nor responsibility. This advantageous 
position over against woman has promoted that unbridled license in 
sexual indulgence wherein a considerable part of men distinguish 
themselves. Seeing, however, that, as has been shown, a hundred causes 
lie in the way of the legitimate gratification of the sexual instinct, 
or prevent its full satisfaction, the consequence is frequent 
gratification, like beasts in the woods. 

Prostitution thus becomes a social institution in the capitalist world, 
the same as the police, standing annies, the Church, and 
wage-mas tersliip. 

Nor is this an exaggeration. We shall prove it. 

We have told how the ancient world looked upon prostitution, and 

143 



considered it necessary, aye, had it organized by the state, as well in 
Greece as in Rome. What views existed on the subject during the Middle 
Ages ha[ve] likewise been described. Even St. Augustine, who, next to St. 
Paul, must be looked upon as the most important prop of Christendom, and 
who diligently preached asceticism, could not refrain from exclaiming: 
"Suppress the public girls, and the violence of passion will knock 
everything of a heap." The provincial Council of Milan, in 1665, 
expressed itself in similar sense. 

Let us hear the moderns: 

Dr. F. S. Huegel says: 100 "Advancing civilization will gradually drape 
prostitution in more pleasing forms, but only with the end of the world 
will it be wiped off the globe." A bold assertion; yet he who is not 
able to project himself beyond the capitalist form of society, he who 
does not realize that society will change so as to arrive at healthy and 
natural social conditions,— he must agree with Dr. Huegel. 

Hence also did Dr. Wichern, the late pious Director of the Rauhen House 
near Hamburg, Dr. Patton of Lyon, Dr. William Tait of Edinburg, and Dr. 
Parent-Duchatelet of Paris, celebrated through his investigations of the 
sexual diseases and prostitution, agree in declaring: "Prostitution is 
ineradicable because it hangs together with the social institutions," 
and all of them demanded its regulation by the state. Also Schmoelder 
writes: "Immorality as a trade has existed at all times and in all 
places, and, so far as the human eye can see, it will remain a constant 
companion of the human race." 101 Seeing that the authorities cited 
stand, without exception, upon the ground of the modern social order, 
the thought occurs to none that, with the aid of another social order, 
the causes of prostitution, and, consequently, prostitution itself, 
might disappear; none of them seeks to fathom the causes. Indeed, upon 
one and another, engaged in this question, the fact at times dawns that 
the sony social conditions, which numerous women suffer under, might be 
the chief reason why so many women sell their bodies; but the thought 
does not press itself through to its conclusion, to wit, that, 
therefore, the necessity arises of bringing about other social 
conditions. Among those who recognize that the economic conditions are 
the chief cause of prostitution belong Th. Bade, who declares: 102 "The 
causes of the bottomless moral depravity, out of which the prostitute 
girl is born, lie in the existing social conditions.... It is the 
bouigeois dissolution of the middle classes and of their material 
existence, paiticularly of the class of the artisans, only a small 
fraction of which carries on to-day an independent occupation as a 
trade." Bade closes his observations, saying: "Want for material 
existence, that has partly worn out the families of the middle class and 
will yet wear them out wholly, leads also to the moral ruin of the 
family, especially of the female sex." In fact, the statistical figures, 

144 



1,015 


47.9 


467 


22-0 


305 


14.4 


222 


10.4 


87 


4.1 



gathered by the Police Department of Berlin, between 1871-1872, on the 
extraction of 2,224 enrolled prostitutes, show: 

Number. Per Cent. Fetter's Occupation. 

Artisans 

Mi Uli an (is 

Small office-Holders 

Merchants and railroad workers 
farmers 
26 1-2 Military service 

Of 102 the father's occupation was not ascertainable. 

Specialists and experts rarely take up investigations of a deeper 
nature; they accept the facts that lie before them, and judge in the 
style of the "Wiener Medizinische Wochenschrift," that writes in its No. 
35, for the year 1863: "What else is there left to the large majority of 
willing and unwilling celibates, in order to satisfy their natural 
wants, than the forbidden fruit of the Venus Pandemos?" The paper is, 
accordingly, of the opinion that, for the sake of these celibates, 
prostitution is necessary, because what else, forsooth, are they to do 
in order to satisfy their sexual impulse? And it closes, saying: "Seeing 
that prostitution is necessary, it has the right to existence, to 
protection, and to immunity from the state." And Dr. Huegel declares 
himself in his work, mentioned above, in accord with this view. Man, 
accordingly, to whom celibacy is a horror and a martyrdom, is the only 
being considered; that there are also millions of women living in 
celibacy is well known; but they have to submit. What is right for man, 
is, accordingly, wrong for worn [a] n; is in her case immorality and a crime. 

The [Leipzig] Police Doctor, Dr. J. Kuehn, says: 103 "Prostitution is not 
merely an evil that must be tolerated, it is a necessary eiil, because 
it protects the wives from infidelity, [which only the husbands have the 
right to be guilty of] and virtue also [female virtue, of course, the 
husbands have no need of the commodity] from being assailed [sic] and, 
therefore, from falling." These few words of Dr. Kuehn typify, in all 
its nakedness, the crass egoism of male creation. Kuehn takes the 
correct stand for a Police Doctor, who, by superintending prostitution, 
sacrifices himself, to the end of saving the men from disagreeable 
diseases. In the same sense with him did his successor, Dr. Eckstein, 
utter himself at the twelfth convention of the German Associations of 
House and City Real Estate Owners, held in Magdeburg in the summer of 
1890. The honorable house-owners wished to know r how r they could prevent 
the numerous instances of prostitutes occupying their houses, and how r to 
protect themselves against lines in case prostitutes are caught living 
in them. Dr. Eckstein lectured them on this head to the effect that 
prostitution was a "necessary evil," never absent from any people or 
religion. Another interesting gentleman is Dr. Fock, who in a treatise, 
entitled "Prostitution, in Its Ethical and Sanitary Respects," in the 

145 



"Deutschen Vierteljahrschrift fuer offentliche Gesuiidheitspflege," vol. 
xx, No. 1, considers prostitution "an unenviable corollary of our 
civilized arrangements." He fears an over-production of people if all 
were to marry upon reaching the age of puberty; hence he considers 
important to have prostitution "regulated" by the state. He considers 
natural that the state supervise and regulate prostitution, and thereby 
assume the care of providing for the supply of girls that are free from 
syphilis. He pronounces himself in favor of the most rigid inspection of 
"all women, proven to lead an abandoned life;"— also when ladies of "an 
abandoned life" belong to the prominent classes? It is the old story. 
That in all logic and justice also those men should be held under 
surveillance who hunt up prostitutes, maintain them and make their 
existence possible,— of that no one thinks. Dr. Fock also demands the 
taxing of the prostitutes, and their concentration in given streets. In 
other words, the Christian state is to procure for itself a revenue out 
of prostitution, and, at the same time, organize and place prostitution 
under its protection for the benefit of male creation. What was it that 
the Emperor Vespasian said at a somewhat similar juncture? "Nou 
oletf— it smells not. 

Did we exaggerate when we said: Prostitution is to-day a necessary 
social institution just as the police, standing armies, the Church and 
wage-mastership ? 

In the German Empire, prostitution is not, like in France, organized and 
superintended by the state; it is only tolerated. Official public houses 
are forbidden by law, and procuring is severely punishable. But that 
does not prevent that in a large number of German cities public houses 
continue to exist, and are winked at by the police. This establishes an 
incomprehensible state of things. The defiance of the law implied in 
such a state of things dawned even upon our statesmen and they bestirred 
themselves to remove the objection by legislative enactments. The German 
Criminal Code makes also the lodging of a prostitute a penal offense. On 
the other hand, however, the police are compelled to tolerate thousands 
of women as prostitutes, and, in a measure, to privilege them in their 
trade, provided they enter themselves as prostitutes on the Police 
Register, and submit to the Police regulations,— for instance, 
periodically recurring examinations by a physician. It follows, however, 
that, if the Government licenses the prostitute, and thereby protects 
the exercise of her trade, she must also have a habitation. Aye, it is 
even in the interest of public health and order that they have such a 
place to ply their trade in. What contradictions! On the one hand, the 
Government officially acknowledges that prostitution is necessary; on 
the other, it prosecutes and punishes the prostitute and the pimp. But 
it is out of contradictions that bourgeois society is put together. 
Moreover, the attitude of the Government is an avowal that prostitution 
is a Sphinx to modern society, the riddle which society can not solve: 

146 



it considers necessary to tolerate and superintend prostitution in order 
to avoid greater evils. In other words, our social system, so boastful 
of its morality, its religiousness, its civilization and its culture, 
feels compelled to tolerate that immorality and corruption spread 
through its body like a stealthy poison. But this state of things 
betrays something else, besides the admission by the Cliiistian state 
that marriage is insufficient, and that the husband has the right to 
demand illegitimate gratification of liis sexual instincts. Woman counts 
with such a state in so far only as she is willing, as a sexual being, 
to yield to illegitimate male desires, i.e., become a prostitute. In 
keeping herewith, the supervision and control, exercised by the organs 
of the state over the registered prostitutes, do not fall upon the men 
also, those who seek the prostitute. Such a provision w r ould be a matter 
of course if the sanitary police control w r as to be of any sense, and 
even of partial effect,— apart from the circumstance that a sense of 
justice w r ould demand an even-handed application of the law r to both 
sexes. No; "supervision and control" fall upon woman alone. 

This protection by the state of man and not woman, turns upside down the 
nature of things. It looks as if men were the weaker vessel and women 
the stronger; as if woman were the seducer, and poor, weak man the 
seduced. The seduction-myth between Adam and Eve in Paradise continues 
to operate in our opinions and law r s, and it says to Christianity: "You 
are right; woman is the arch seductress, the vessel of iniquity." Men 
should be ashamed of such a sorry and unworthy role, but this role 
of the "w r eak" and the "seduced" suits them;— the more they are 
protected, all the more may they sin. 

Wherever men assemble in large numbers, they seem unable to amuse 
themselves without prostitution. This w r as shown, among other instances 
of the kind, by the occurrences at the German Schuetzenfest, held in 
Berlin in the summer of 1890, which caused 2,300 women to express 
themselves as follows in a petition addressed to the Mayor of the German 
capital: "May it please your Honor to allow r us to bring to your 
knowledge the matters that have reached the provinces, through the 
press and other means of communication, upon the German shooting 
matches, held at Pankowfrom the 6th to the 13th of July of this year - . 
The reports of the matter, that w r e have seen with indignation and 
horror, represent the programme of that festival with the following 
announcements, among others: 'First German Herald, the Greatest 
Songstress of the World;' 'A Hundred Ladies and Forty Gentlemen:' 
Besides these smaller cafes chantants and shooting galleries, in which 
importunate women forced themselves upon the men. Also a 'free concert,' 
whose gaily-clad waitresses, seductively smiling, brazenly and 
shamelessly invi ted the gymnasium students and the fathers of families, 
the youths and the grown men alike, to the 'shooting retreats.'... The 
barely dressed 'lady' who invited people to the booth of 'The Secrets of 

147 



Hamburg, or a Night in St. Pauli,' should have been enough to justify 
her removal by the police. And then the shocking announcement, almost 
incredible of the much boasted about Imperial capital, and hardly to be 
believed by plain male and female citizens in the provinces, to the 
effect that the managers of the festival had consented to the 
employment, without pay, of 'young women' in large numbers, as 
bar-maids, instead of the waiters who applied for work.... We, German 
women, have thousands of occasions, as wives, mothers and as sisters, to 
send our husbands, children, daughters and brothers to Berlin in the 
service of the fatherland; we, consequently, pray to your Honor in all 
humbleness and in the confident expectation that, with the aid of the 
overpowering influence, which, as the chief magistrate of the Imperial 
capital, lies in your hand, you may institute such investigations of 
those disgraceful occurrences, or adopt such other measures as to your 
Honor may seem fit, to the end that a recurrence of those orgies may not 
have to be apprehended at the pending Sedan festival, for instance...." 
(!!) 

During the session of the Reichstag, from 1892 to 1893, the united 
Governments made an effort to put an end to the contradiction that 
governmental practice, on the one hand, and the Criminal Code on the 
other, find themselves in with regard to prostitution. They introduced a 
bill that was to empower the police to designate certain habitations to 
prostitutes. It was admitted that prostitution could not be suppressed, 
and that, therefore, the most practical thing was to tolerate the thing 
in certain localities, and to control it. The bill— upon that all minds 
were agreed— would, if it became a law, have called again to life the 
brothels that were officially abolished in Prussia about 1845. The bill 
caused a great uproar, and it evoked a number of protests in which the 
warning was raised against the state's setting itself up as the 
protector of prostitution, and thereby favoring the idea that the use of 
prostitution was not in violation of good morals, or that the trade of 
the prostitute was such that the state could allow and approve of. The 
bill, which met with the strongest opposition both on the floor of the 
Reichstag and in the committee, was pigeon-holed, and dared not again 
come into daylight. That, nevertheless, such a bill could at all take 
shape reveals the embarrassment that society is in. 

The administrative regulation of prostitution raises in the minds of men 
not only the belief that the state allows the use of prostitution, but 
also that such control protects them against disease. Indeed, this 
belief greatly promotes indulgence and recklessness on the part of men. 
Brothels do not reduce sexual diseases, they promote the same: the men 
grow more caieless and less cautious. 

Experience has taught that neither the establishment of houses of 
prostitution, controlled by the police, nor the supervision and medical 

148 



inspection, ordered by die police, afford die slightest guarantee 
against contagion. The nature of these diseases is frequently such that 
they are not to be easily or immediately detected. If there is to be any 
safety, the inspection would have to be held several times a day. That, 
however, is impossible in view of the number of women concerned, and 
also of the costs. Where thirty or forty prostitutes must be "done" in 
an hour, inspection is hardly more than a farce; moreover, one or two 
inspections a week is wholly inadequate. The success of these measures 
also suffers shipwreck in the circumstance that the men, who transmit 
the germs of disease from one woman to another, remain free from all 
official annoyance. A prostitute, just inspected and found healthy, may 
be infected that same hour by a diseased man, and she transmits the 
virus to other patrons, until the next inspection day, or until she has 
herself become aware of the disease. The control is not only illusory: 
These inspections, made at command, and conducted by male, instead of 
female physicians, hurt most deeply the sense of shame; and they 
contribute to its total ruination. This is a phenomenon confirmed by 
many physicians. Even the official report of the Berlin Police 
Department admits the fact by stating: "It may also be granted that 
registration causes die moral sense of the prostitute to sink still 
lower." 101 Accordingly, the prostitutes tiy their utmost to escape 
this control. A further consequence of these police measures is that 
they make it extraordinarily difficult, even impossible, for the 
prostitute ever again to return to a decent trade. A woman, that has 
fallen under police control, is lost to society; she generally goes down 
in misery within a fewyeais. Accurately and exhaustively did the fifth 
Congress at Geneva for Combatting Immorality utter itself against the 
police regulation of prostitutes, by declaring: "The compulsory medical 
inspection of prostitutes is an all the more cruel punishment to the 
woman, seeing that, by destroying the remnants of shame, still possible 
within even the most abandoned, such inspection drags down completely 
into depravity the wretched being that is subjected thereto. The state, 
that means to regulate prostitution with the police, forgets that it 
owes equal protection to both sexes; it demoralizes and degrades women. 
Every system for the official regulation of prostitution has police 
arbitrariness for its consequence, as well as the violation of civic 
guaranties that are safeguarded to every individual, even to the 
greatest criminal, against arbitrary arrest and imprisonment. Seeing 
this violation of right is exercised to the injury of woman only, the 
consequence is an inequality, shocking to nature, between her and man. 
Woman is degraded to the level of a mere means, and is no longer treated 
as a person. She is placed outside of the pale of law." 

Of how little use police control is, England furnishes a striking 
illustration. In the year 1866 a law was enacted on the subject for 
places in which soldiers and marines were garrisoned. Now, then, while 
from 1860 to 1866, without the law, the lighter cases of syphilis had 

149 



declined from 32.68 to 24.73 per cent., after a six years' enforcement 
of the new law, the percentage of diseased in 1872 was still 24.26. In 
other words, it was not one-half per cent, lower in 1872 than in 1866; 
but the average for these six years was 1-16 per cent, higher than in 
1866. In sight of this, a special Commission, appointed in 1873, to 
investigate the effect of that law, arrived at the unanimous conclusion 
that "the periodical inspection of the women who usually have sexual 
intercourse with the personnel of the army and navy, had, at best, 
not occasioned the slightest diminution in the number of cases," and it 
recommended the suspension of periodical inspections. 

The effects of the Act of Inspection on the women subjected thereto 
were, however, quite different from those on the troops. In 1866, there 
were, to every 1,000 prostitutes, 121 diseases; in 1868, after the law 
had been in force two years, there were 202. The number then gradually 
dropped, but, nevertheless, still exceeded in 1874 the figure for 1866 
by 16 cases. Under the Act, deaths also increased frightfully among the 
prostitutes. In 1865 the proportion was 9.8 to every 1,000 prostitutes, 
whereas, in 1874 it had risen to 23. When, towards the close of the 
sixties, the English Government made the attempt to extend the Act of 
Inspection to all English cities, a storm of indignation arose from the 
women. The law was considered an affront to the whole sex. The Habeas 
Corpus Act,— that fundamental law, that protects the English citizen 
against police usurpation— would, such was the sentiment, be suspended 
for women: any brutal policeman, animated by revenge or any other base 
motive, would be free to seize any decent woman on the suspicion of her 
being a prostitute, whereas the licentiousness of the men would remain 
unmolested, aye, would be protected and fed, by just such a law. 

Although this intervention in behalf of the outcasts of their sex 
readily exposed the English women to misrepresentation and degrading 
remarks from the quarter of narrow-minded men, the women did not allow 
themselves to be held back from energetically opposing the introduction 
of the law that was an insult to their sex. In newspaper articles and 
pamphlets the "pros" and "cons" were discussed by men and women; in 
Parliament, the extension of the law was, first, prevented; its repeal 
followed later. The German police [are] vested with a similar power, and 
cases that have forced themselves into publicity from Berlin, [Leipzig] 
and other cities, prove that its abuse— or be it "mistakes" in its 
exercise— is easy; nevertheless, of an energetic opposition to such 
regulations naught is heard. Even in middle class Norway, brothels were 
forbidden in 1 884; in 1 888 the compulsory registration of the 
prostitutes and the inspection connected therewith were abolished in the 
capital, Christiania; and in January, 1 893, the enactment was made 
general for the whole country. Very rightly does Mrs. Guillaume-Schack 
remark upon the "protective" measures adopted by the state in behalf of 
the men: "To what end do we teach our sons to respect virtue and 

150 



morality if the state pronounces immorality a necessary evil; and if, 
before the young man has at all reached mental maturity, the state leads 
woman to him stamped by the authorities as a merchandise, as a toy for 
his passion?" 

Let a sexually diseased man, in his unbridled career of licentiousness, 
contaminate ever so many of these poor beings— who, to the honor of 
woman be it said, are mostly driven by bitter want or through seduction 
to ply their disgraceful trade,— the scurvy fellow remains unmolested. 
But woe to the woman who does not forthwith submit to inspection and 
treatment! The garrison cities, university towns, etc., with their 
congestion of vigorous, healthy men, are the chief centers of 
prostitution and of its dangerous diseases, that are carried thence into 
the remotest corners of the land, and everywhere spread infection. The 
same holds with the sea towns. What the moral qualifications are with a 
large number of our students the following utterance in a publication 
for the promotion of morality may give an idea of: " With byfai' the 
larger number of students, the views entertained upon matters of 
morality are shockingly low, aye, they are downiight unclean." 1 " 5 And 
these are the circles— boastful of their "German breed," and "German 
morals"— from which our administrative officers, our District Attorneys 
and our Judges are in part recruited. 

"Thy sins shall be visited upon the children unto the third and fourth 
generation." This Bible sentence falls upon the dissipated and sexually 
diseased man in the fullest sense of the word, unhappily also upon the 
innocent woman. "Attacks of apoplexy with young men and also women, 
several manifestations of spinal debility and softening of the brains, 
all manner of nervous diseases, affections of the eyes, cariosity, 
inflammation of the intestines, sterility and atrophy, frequently 
proceed from nothing else than chronic and neglected, and, often for 
special reasons, concealed sypliilis.... As things now are, ignorance 
and lightheadedness also contribute towards turning blooming daughters 
of the land into anaemic, listless creatures, who, under the burden of 
a chronic inflammation of the pelvis, have to atone for the excesses 
committed by their husbands before and after mairiage." 106 In the 
same sense does Dr. Blaschke utter himself: 10 ' "Epidemics like cholera 
and smallpox, diphtheria and typhus, whose visible effects are, by 
reason of their suddenness, realized by all, although hardly equal to 
syphilis in point of virulence, and, in point of diffusion, not to be 
compared therewith, yet are they the terror of the population... while 
before syphilis society stands, one feels inclined to say, with 
frightful indifference." The fault lies in the circumstance that it is 
considered "improper" to talk openly of such things. Did not even the 
German Reichstag stop short before a resolution to provide by law that 
sexual diseases, as well as all others, shall be treated by Sick-Benefit 
Associations? 



151 



The syphilitic virus is in its effects the most tenacious and hardest 
poison to stamp out. Many years after an outbreak has been overcome, and 
the patient believes every trace to be wiped out, the sequels frequently 
crop up afresh in the wife or the new-born child; 108 and a swarm of 
ailments among wives and children trace their causes back, respectively, 
to marital and parental venereal diseases. With some who are born blind, 
the misfortune is [because of] the father's sins, the consequences of which 
transmitted themselves to the wife, and from her to the child. 
Weak-minded and idiotic children may frequently ascribe their infirmity 
to the same cause. Finally, what dire disaster may be achieved through 
vaccination by an insignificant drop of syphilitic blood, our own days 
can furnish crass illustrations of. 

In the measure that men, willingly or otherwise, renounce marriage, and 
seek the gratification of natural impulses through illegitimate 
channels, seductive allurements increase also. The great profits yielded 
by all undertakings that cater to immorality, attract numerous and 
unscrupulous business men, who spare no artifice of refinement to draw 
and keep customers. Account is taken of every demand, according to the 
rank and position of the custom, also of its means and readiness to 
bleed. If some of these "public houses" in our large cities were to blab 
out their secrets, the fact would appear that their female 
tenants— mostly of low extraction, without either culture or education, 
often unable to write their own names, but possessed of all the mere 
physical charms— stand in the most intimate relations with "leaders of 
society," with men of high intelligence and culture. There would be 
found among these Cabinet Ministers, high military dignitaries, 
Councillors, members of Legislatures, Judges, etc., going in and out, 
and side by side with representatives of the aristocracy of birth, of 
finance, of commerce and of industry,— all of them, who, by day and in 
society, strut about with grave and dignified mien as "representatives 
and guardians of morality, of order, of marriage, and of the family," 
and who stand at the head of the Christian charity societies and of 
societies for the "suppression of prostitution." Modern capitalist 
society resembles a huge carnival festival, at which all seek to deceive 
and fool one another. Each carries his official disguise with dignity, 
in order later, unofficially and with all the less restraint, to give a 
loose to his inclinations and passions. All the while, public life is 
running over with "Morality," "Religion" and "Propriety." In no age was 
there greater hypocrisy than in ours. The number of the augurs swells 
daily. 

The supply of women for purposes of lust rises even more rapidly than 
the demand. Our increasingly precarious social conditions— want, 
seduction, the love for an externally brilliant and apparently easy 
life— furnish the female candidates from all social strata. Quite 

152 



typically does a novel of Hans Wachenhusen 109 depict the state of 
things in the capital of the German Empire. The author expresses himself 
on the purpose of his work in these words: "My book deals mainly with 
the victims of the female sex and its steady depreciation, [because of] the 
unnatural plight of our social and chic state, through its own fault, 
through neglect of education, through the craving of luxury and the 
increasing light-headed supply in the market of life. It speaks of this 
sex's increasing surplus, which renders daily more hopeless the new-born 
ones, more prospectless those that grow up.... I wrote much in the same 
way as the District Attorney puts together the past life of a criminal, 
in order to establish therefrom the measure of his guilt. Novels being 
generally considered works of fiction, permissible opposites of Truth, 
the following is, in that sense, no novel, but a true picture of life, 
without coloring." In Berlin, things are no better and no worse than in 
other large cities. Whether Greek-Orthodox St. Petersburg or Catholic 
Rome, Germanic-Christian Berlin or heathen Paris, puritanic London or 
gay Vienna, approach nearer to Babylon of old is hard to decide. 
"Prostitution possesses its written and its unwritten laws, its 
resources, its various resorts, from the poorest cottage to the most 
splendid palace, its numberless grades from the lowest to the most 
refined and cultivated; it has its special amusements and public places 
of meeting, its police, its hospitals, its prisons and its 
literature." 110 "We no longer celebrate the festival of Osiris, the 
Bacchanalia and the Indian orgies of the spring month; but in Paris and 
other large cities, under the black cloak of night, behind the walls of 
'public' and 'private' houses, people give themselves over to orgies and 
Bacchanalia that the boldest pen dare not describe." 111 

Under such conditions, the traffic in female flesh has assumed mammoth 
proportions. It is conducted on a most extensive scale, and is most 
admirably organized in the very midst of the seats of civilization and 
culture, rarely attracting the notice of the police. A swarm of brokers, 
agents, carriers, male and female, ply the trade with the same unconcern 
as if they dealt in any other merchandise. Birth certificates are 
forged, and bills of lading are drawn up with accurate descriptions of 
the qualifications of the several "articles," and are handed over to the 
carriers as directions for the purchasers. As with all merchandise, the 
price depends upon the quality, and the several categories are assorted 
and consigned, according to the taste and the requirements of the 
customers in different places and countries. The slyest manipulations 
are resorted to in order to evade the snares and escape the vigilance of 
the police; not infrequently large sums are used to shut the eyes of the 
guardians of the law. A number of such cases have been established, 
especially in Paris. 

Germany enjoys the sorry fame of being the woman market for half the 
world. The innate German migratory disposition seems to animate also a 

153 



portion of the women. In larger numbers than those of any other people, 
the Austrian excepted, do they furnish their contingent to the supply of 
international prostitution. German women populate the harems of the 
Turks, as well as the public houses of central Siberia, and as far away 
as Bombay, Singapore, San Francisco and Chicago. In a book of 
travels, 112 the author, W. Joest, speaks as follows on the German 
trade in girls: "People so often grow warm in our moral Germany over 
the slave trade that some African negro Prince may be carrying on, or 
over conditions in Cuba and Brazil, but they should rather keep in mind 
the beam in their own eyes: in no country is there such a trade with 
wliite female slaves, from no country is the export oftliis living 
merchandise as laige as it is from Germany and Austria. The road that 
these girls take can be accurately followed. From Hamburg they are 
shipped to South America; Bahia and Rio de Janeiro receive their quotas; 
the largest part is destined for Montevideo and Buenos Ayres, while a 
small rest goes through the Straits of Magellan as far as Valparaiso. 
Another stream is steered via England, or direct to North America, 
where, however, it can hold its own only with difficulty against the 
domestic product, and, consequently, splits up down the Mississippi as 
far as New Orleans and Texas, or westward to California. Thence, the 
coast is supplied as far south as Panama; while Cuba, the West Indies 
and Mexico draw their supplies from New Orleans. Under the title of 
"Bohemians," further droves of German girls are exported over the Alps 
to Italy and thence further south to Alexandria, Suez, Bombay, Calcutta 
and Singapore, aye, even to Hongkong and as far as Shanghai. The Dutch 
Indies and Eastern Asia, Japan, especially, are poor markets, seeing 
that Holland does not allow white girls of this kind in its colonies, 
while in Japan the daughters of the soil are themselves too pretty and 
cheap. American competition from San Francisco also tends to spoil the 
otherwise favorable chances. Russia is provided from East Prussia, 
Pomerania and Poland. The first station is usually Riga. Here the 
dealers from St. Petersburg and Moscow supply themselves, and ship their 
goods in large quantities to Nischni-Novgorod and beyond the Ural 
Mountains to libit and Krestofsky, aye as far" as the interior of 
Siberia. I found, for instance, a German girl in Tschita who had been 
traded in this way. This wonderful trade is thoroughly organized, it is 
attended to by agents and commercial travelers. If ever the Foreign 
Depaitment of the German Empire were to demand of its consuls reports on 
tliis matter, quite interesting statistical tables could be put 
together." 

This trade flourishes to this day at its fullest, as proved in the 

autumn of 1893 by a Social Democratic delegate to the German Reichstag. 

The number of prostitutes is hard to estimate; accurately it can not be 
at all given. The police can state approximately the number of women 
whose principal occupation is prostitution; but it can not do this with 

154 



regard to the much larger number of those who resort to it as a side 
means of income. All the same, the figures approximately known are 
frightfully high. According to v. Oettingen, the number of prostitutes 
in London was, as early as the close of the sixties, estimated at 
80,000. In Paris the number of registered prostitutes in 1892 was 4,700, 
but fully one-third escape police control. In all Paris, there were, in 
1892, about sixty brothels, with 600 to 700 prostitutes, and the number 
of brothels is steadily on the decline. On the other hand, based upon an 
investigation, instituted by the Municipal Council of Paris, in 1889, 
the number of women who prostitute themselves is placed at the enormous 
figure of 120,000. In Berlin, the number of prostitutes, registered with 
the police, was:— 

1886 3,006 1888 3,302 

1887 3,063 1889 3,703 

1S0O 4,039 

In 1890, there were six physicians employed, whose duty it was to devote 
two hours a day to inspection. 113 Since then the number of physicians 
has been increased. The prostitutes, registered with the police, 
constitute, however, in Berlin also, only a very small portion of the 
total. Expert sources estimate it at not less than 50,000. In the year 
1890 alone, there were in 9,024 liquor saloons 2,022 bar-maids, almost 
all of whom yield to prostitution. Furthermore, the, from year to year, 
rising number of girls, arrested for disorderly conduct, show r s that 
prostitution in Berlin is steadily on the increase. The numbers of these 
arrests were:— 

1881 10,878 1887 13,368 

1884 11,157 1800 16,605 

Of the 16,605 girls, arrested in 1890, there were 9,162 carried for 
sentence before the Judge. There w r ere, accordingly, 30 of these at every 
session of the court, and 128 of them w r ere placed under the police by 
judicial decree. Already in 1860, it w r as calculated in Hamburg that 
every ninth woman w r as a prostitute. Since then the proportion has become 
greatly w r orse. 

In Germany, the number of prostitutes probably runs up to 180,000. 
Accordingly, w r e here have to do with a large female army, that considers 
prostitution as a means of livelihood; and the number of victims, whom 
disease and death claim, is in proportion. 1 " 

Tait calculates for Edinburg that the average life of the prostitute is 
22 to 25 years. According to him, year in and year out, every fourth 
aye, every third prostitute seeks to take her own life, and every 
twelfth actually succeeds in killing herself. A truly shocking state of 
things. The majority of prostitutes are heartily tiled of their w r ay of 



155 



living; aye, that they are disgusted thereat, is an experience admitted 
by all experts. But once fallen into prostitution, only to very few is 
the opportunity ever offered to escape. 

And yet the number of prostitutes increases in the same measure that 
does that of the women engaged as female labor in the various branches 
of industry and trade, and that are paid off with wages that are too 
high to die, and too low to live on. Prostitution is, furthermore, 
promoted by the industrial crises that have become a necessity of the 
capitalist world, that commence to become chronic, and that cany want 
and misery into hundreds and thousands of families. According to a 
letter of the Chief Constable of Bolton, October 31, 1865, to a Factory 
Inspector, the number of young prostitutes had increased more during the 
English cotton famine, consequent upon the North American war for the 
emancipation of the slaves, than during the previous twenty-five 
years. 115 But it is not only the working-women, who, through want, 
fall a prey to prostitution. Prostitution also finds its recruiting 
grounds in the higher walks of life. Lombroso and Ferrero quote 
Mace, 116 who says of Paris that "a governess certificate, whether of 
high or low degree, is not so much a draft upon bread, as upon suicide, 
theft and prostitution." 

Parent-Duchatelet made out in his time a statistical table, according to 
which, out of 5,000 prostitutes there were 1,440 who took to the 
occupation out of want and misery; 1,250 were orphaned and without 
support; 80 prostituted themselves in order to feed poor parents; 1,400 
were concubines left by their keepers; 400 were girls whom officers and 
soldiers had seduced and dragged to Paris; 280 had been deserted by 
their lovers during pregnancy. These figures speak for themselves. They 
need no further explanation. Mrs. Butler, the zealous champion of the 
poorest and most wretched of her sex in England, says on the subject of 
prostitution: "Fortuitous circumstances, the death of a father, of a 
mother, lack of work, insufficient wages, misery, false promises, 
snares, have led them to sin." Instructive also is the information given 
by K. Schneidt 11 ' on the causes, that lead the Berlin bar-maids so 
often into the arms of prostitution. Shockingly large is the number of 
female servants that become barmaids, and that almost always means 
prostitutes. The answers that Schneidt received on his schedules of 
questions addressed to bar-maids, ran like this: "Because I got a child 
from my master and had to earn my living;" or "Because my book was 
spoiled;" or "Because with sewing shirts and the like too little is 
made;" or "Because I was discharged from the factory and could get no 
more work;" or "Because my father died, and there were four other little 
ones." That, particularly, servant gills, after they fall a prey to 
seduction by their masters, furnish a large contingent to the 
prostitutes, is a known fact. On the subject of the shockingly large 
number of seductions of servant girls by their masters or by the sons of 

156 



these, Dr. Max Taude expresses himself reproachfully. 118 When, 
however, the upper classes furnish their quota to prostitution, it is 
not want but seduction and the inclination for an easy life, for dress 
and for pleasures. On that subject a certain work 119 utters itself 
this wise: 

"Cold with horror and dismay, many a staid citizen, many a parson, 
teacher, high official, high military dignitary, etc., learns that his 
daughter has secretly taken to prostitution. Were it allowable to 
mention all these daughters byname, either a social revolution would 
take place on the spot, or the populai ideas concerning honor and virtue 
would be seriously damaged." 

It is especially the finer prostitutes, the haute volee among the 
prostitutes, that are recruited from these circles. Likewise do a large 
portion of actresses, whose wardrobe outlays alone stand in crass 
disproportion to their salaries, depend upon such unclean sources of 
revenue. 120 The same with numerous girls, engaged as sales-ladies, and 
in similar capacities. There are employers dishonorable enough to 
justify the low wages that they pay by referring their female employees 
to the aid of "friends." For instance: In 1889 the "Sachsische Arbeiter 
Zeitung" of Dresden published a notice that ran as follows: "A cultured 
young lady, long time out of work on account of lung troubles, looked, 
upon her recovery, for work of any sort. She was a governess. Nothing 
fit offered itself quickly, and she decided to accept the first job that 

came along, whatever it was. She first applied to Mr. . Seeing she 

spoke readily several languages, she was acceptable; but the 30 marks a 
month wages seemed to her too small to get along with. She stated [this] to Mr. 

, and his answer was that most of his girls did not get even that 

much, but from 15 to 20 marks at most, and they all pulled through quite 
well, each having a 'good friend,' who helped along. Another gentleman, 

Mr. , expressed himself in the same sense. Of course, the lady 

accepted a place in neither of the two establishments." 

Seamstresses, female tailors, milliners, factory girls by the hundreds 
of thousands find themselves in similar plight. Employers and their 
subalterns— merchants, mill owners, landlords, etc.,— who keep female 
hands and employees, frequently consider it a sort of privilege to find 
these women handy to [minister] to their lusts. Our pious and 
conservative folks love to represent the rural districts as truly 
idyllic in point of morality, compared with the large cities and 
industrial centers. Everyone acquainted with the actual state of things 
knows that it is not so; and the fact was evidenced by the address, 
delivered by a baronial landlord of Saxony in the fall of 1 889, reported 
as follows in the papers of the place: 

"GRIMMA.— Baron Dr. v. Waechter of Roecknitz, recently delivered an 

157 



address, before a diocese meeting that took place here, upon the subject 
of 'Sexual Immorality in Our Rural Communities.' Local conditions were 
not presented by him in a rosy color. The speaker admitted with great 
candor that employers, even married ones, are frequently in very 
intimate relations with their female domestics, the consequences of 
which were either cancelled with cash, or were removed from the eyes 
of the world through a crime. The fact could, unfortunately, not be 
cloaked over, that immorality was nursed in these communities, not alone 
by gills, who, as muses in cities, had taken in the poison, or by 
fellows, who made its acquaintance in the military service, but that, 
sad to say, also the cultuied classes, through the stewards of 
manorial estates, and through the officers on the occasions of held 
manoeuvres, carried lax principles of morality into the country 
districts. According to Dr. v. Waechter, there are actually here in the 
country few girls who reach the age of seventeen without having 
fallen." The open-hearted speaker's love of truth was answered with a 
social boycott, placed upon him by the officers who felt insulted. The 
jus primae noctis of the medieval feudal lord continues in another 
form in these very days of ours. 

The majority of prostitutes are thrown into the arms of this occupation 
at a time when they can hardly be said to have arrived at the age of 
discretion. Of 2,582 girls, arrested in Paris for the secret practice of 
prostitution, 1,500 were minors; of 607 others, 487 had been deflowered 
under the age of twenty. In September, 1 894, a scandal of first rank 
took the stage in Buda-Pest. It appeared that about 400 girls of from 
twelve to fifteen years fell prey to a band of rich rakes. The sons of 
our "property and cultured classes" generally consider it an attribute 
of their rank to seduce the daughters of the people, whom they then 
leave in the lurch. Only too readily do the trustful daughters of the 
people, untutored in life and experience, and generally joyless and 
friendless, fall a prey to the seduction that approaches them in 
brilliant and seductive guise. Disillusion, then sorrows, finally 
crime,— such are the sequels. Of 1,846,171 live births in Germany in 
1891, 172,456 were illegitimate. Only conjure up the volume of worry and 
heartaches prepared for a great number of these mothers, by the birth of 
their illegitimate children, even if allowance is made for the many 
instances when the children are legitimatized by their fathers! Suicide 
by women and infanticide are to a large extent traceable to the 
destitution and wretchedness in which the women are left when deserted. 
The trials for child murder cast a dark and instructive picture upon the 
canvas. To cite just one case, in the fall of 1894, a young girl, who, 
eight days after her delivery, had been turned out of the lying-in 
institute in Vienna and thrown upon the streets with her child and 
without means, and who, in her distress and desperation, killed the 
infant, was sentenced to be hanged 'by a jury of Krems in Lower 
Austria. About the scamp of a father nothing was said. And how often do 

158 



not similar instances occur! The seduced and outrageously deserted 
woman, cast helpless into the abyss of despair and shame, resorts to 
extreme measures: she kills the fruit of her womb, is dragged before the 
tribunals, is sentenced to penitentiary or the gallows. The 
unconscionable, and actual murderer,— he goes off scott-free; marries, 
perchance, shortly after, the daughter of a "respectable and honest" 
family, and becomes a much honored, upright man. There is many a 
gentleman, floating about in honors and distinctions, who has soiled his 
honor and his conscience in this manner. Had women a word to say in 
legislation, much would be otherwise in this direction. 

Most cruel of all, as already indicated, is the posture of French 

legislation, which forbids inquiry after the child's paternity, and, 

instead, sets up foundling asylums. The resolution on the subject, by 

the Convention of June 28, 1793, runs thus: "The nation takes charge of 

the physical and moral education of abandoned children. From that moment 

they will be designated only by the term of orphans. No other 

designation shall be allowed." Quite convenient for the men, who, 

thereby, shifted the obligation of the individual upon the collectivity, 

to the end of escaping exposure before the public and their wives. In 

all the provinces of the land, orphan and foundling asylums were set up. 

The number of orphans and foundlings ran up, in 1893, to 130,945, of 

which it was estimated that each tenth child was legitimate, but not 

wanted by its parents. But no particular care was taken of these 

children, and the mortality among them was, accordingly, great. In that 

year, fully 59 per cent., i.e., more than one-half died during the 

first year of their lives; 78 per cent, died twelve years of age and 

under. Accordingly, of every 100 only 22 reached the age of twelve years 

and over. It is claimed that matters have in the meantime improved in 

those establishments. 

In Austria and Italy also foundling asylums were established, and their 
support assumed by the state. "Id on fait mourir les enfant^' (Here 
children are killed) is the inscription that a certain King is said to 
have recommended as fit for foundling asylums. In Austria, they are 
gradually disappearing; there are now only eight of them left; also the 
treatment and care of the children has considerably improved to what it 
was. In 1888, there were 40,865 children cared for in Austria, including 
Galicia; of these 10,466 were placed in public institutions, 30,399 
under private care, at a joint cost of 1,817,372 florins. Mortality was 
slighter among the children in the public institutions than among those 
placed under private care. This was especially the case in Galicia. 
There, 31.25 per cent, of the children died during the year 1888 in the 
public establishments, by far more than in the public establishments of 
other countries; but of those under private care, 84.21 per cent, 
died,— a veritable mass-assassination. It almost looks as though the 
Polish slaughterhouse system aimed at killing off these poor little 

159 



worms as swiftly as possible. It is a generally accepted fact that the 
percentage of deaths among children born out of wedlock is far higher 
than among those born in wedlock. In Prussia there died, early in the 
sixties, during the first year of their lives 18.23 per cent, of 
children born in wedlock, and 33.1 1 per cent, of children born out of 
wedlock, accordingly twice as many of the latter. In Paris there died, 
1 00 children born in wedlock to every 1 39 born out of wedlock, and in 
the country districts 215. Italian statistics throw up this picture: Out 
of every 10,000 live-births, there died— 

Legitimate children: 1881. 1S82. 1883. 1884. 1885. 

One month old 751 741 724 898 696 

TWo to twelve months 1,027 1,172 986 953 1,083 

Illegitimate children: 

One month old 2,092 2,045 2,139 2,107 1,813 

Two to twelvemonths 1,387 1,386 1,437 1,437 1,353 

The difference in the mortality between legitimate and illegitimate 
children is especially noticeable during the first month of life. During 
that period, the mortality of children born out of wedlock is on an 
average three times as large as that of those born in wedlock. Improper 
attention during pregnancy, weak delivery and poor care afterwards, are 
the veiy simple causes. Likewise do maltreatment and the infamous 
practice and superstition of "making angels" increase the victims. The 
number of still-births is twice as large with illegitimate than with 
legitimate children, due, probably, mainly to the efforts of some of the 
mothers to bring on the death of the child during pregnancy. The 
illegitimate children wiio survive revenge themselves upon society for 
the wrong done them, by furnishing an extraordinaiy large percentage of 
criminals of all degrees. 

Yet another evil, frequently met, must also be shortly touched upon. 
Excessive sexual indulgence is infinitely more harmful than too little. 
A body, misused by excess, will go to pieces, even without venereal 
diseases. Impotence, barrenness, spinal affections, insanity, at least 
intellectual weakness, and many other diseases, are the usual 
consequences. Temperance is as necessary in sexual intercourse as in 
eating and drinking, and all other human w r ants. But temperance seems 
difficult to youth. Hence the large number of "young old men," in the 
higher w r alks of life especially. The number of young and old roues is 
enormous, and they require special irritants, excess having deadened and 
surfeited them. Many, accordingly, lapse into the unnatural practices of 
Greek days. The crime against nature is to-day much more general than 
most of us dream of: upon that subject the secret archives of many a 
Police Bureau could publish frightful information. But not among men 
only, among women also have the unnatural practices of old Greece come 
up again with force. Lesbian love, or Sapphism, is said to be quite 
general among married women in Paris; according to Taxal, 121 it is 
enormously in practice among the prominent ladies of that city. In 



160 



Berlin, one-fourth of the prostitutes are said to practice "tribady;" 
but also in the circles of our leading dames there are not wanting 
disciples of Sappho. Still another unnatural gratification of the sexual 
instinct manifests itself in the violation of children, a practice that 
has increased greatly during the last thirty years. In France, during 
1851-1875, 17,656 cases of this nature were tried. The colossal number 
of these crimes in France is intimately connected with the two-child 
system, and with the abstinence of husbands towards their wives. To the 
German population also we find people recommending Malthusianism, 
without stopping to think what the sequels will be. The so-called 
"liberal professions," to whom belong mainly the members of the upper 
classes, furnish in Germany about 5.6 per cent, of the ordinary 
criminals, but they furnish 13 per cent, of the criminals indicted for 
violation of children; and this latter percentage would be still higher 
were there not in those circles ample means to screen the criminals, so 
that, probably, the majority of cases remain undiscovered. The 
revelations made in the eighties by the "Pall Mall Gazette" on the 
violation of children in England, are still fresh in the public memory. 

The moral progress of this our best of all possible worlds is recorded 
in the below tables for England, the "leading country in civilization." 
In England there were:— 

Immoral Acts Deaths from 

Year. of Violence. Syphilis. Insane. 

1861 280 1,345 39,647 

1871 316 1,995 66,755 

1881 370 2,334 73,113 

1882 466 2,478 74,842 

1883 390 .... 76,765 

1884 BIO .... 

Increase since 1861 . . 82 per cent. 84 per cent. 98 per cent. 

A frightful increase this is of the phenomena that point to the rising 
physical and moral ruin of English society. 

The best statistical record of venereal diseases and their increase is 
kept by Denmark, Copenhagen especially. Here venereal diseases, with 
special regard to syphilis, developed as follows:— 



"Year. Population. 

1874 196,000 

1879 227,000 

1885 290,000 

Among the personnel of the navy in Copenhagen, the number of venereal 
diseases increased 1224 per cent, during the period mentioned; in the 
army and for the same period, 227 per cent. 122 And how stands it in 
Paris? From the year 1872 to the year 1888, the number of persons 
treated for venereal diseases in the hospitals Du Midi, de Lourcine and 
de St. Louis was 118,223, of which 60,438 suffered of syphilis and 



161 



Venereal 


Of these, 


Diseases. 


Syphilis. 


5,505 


836 


6,299 


934 


9,325 


1,866 



57,795 of other venereal affections. Besides these, of the number of 
outside persons, who applied to the clinics of the said three hospitals, 
there was a yearly average of 16,385 venereals. 123 

We have seen how, as a result of our social conditions, vice, excesses, 
wrongs and crimes of all sorts are bred. All society is kept in a state 
of unrest. Under such a state of things woman is the chief sufferer. 

Numerous women realize this and seek redress. They demand, first of all, 
economic self-support and independence; they demand that woman be 
admitted, as well as man, to all pursuits that her physical and mental 
powers and faculties qualify her for; they demand, especially, admission 
to the occupations that are designated with the term "liberal 
professions." Are the efforts in these directions justified? Are they 
practical? Would they mend matters? These are questions that now crowd 
forward. 



162 



CHAPTER IV. 

WOMAN'S POSITION AS A BREADWINNER; HER 
INTELLECTUAL FACULTIES; DARWINISM AND 
THE CONDITION OF SOCIETY. 

The endeavor of woman to secure economic self-support and personal 
independence has, to a certain degree, been recognized as legitimate by 
bourgeois society, the same as the endeavor of the workingman after 
greater freedom of motion. The principal reason for such acquiescence 
lies in the class interests of the bourgeoisie itself. The bourgeoisie, 
or capitalist class, requires the free and unrestricted purveyance of 
male and female labor-power for the fullest development of production. 
In even tempo with the perfection of machinery, and technique; with the 
subdivision of labor into single acts requiring ever less technical 
experience and strength; with the sharpening of the competitive warfare 
between industry and industry, and between whole regions— country 
against country, continent against continent— the labor-power of woman 
comes into ever greater demand. 

The special causes, from which flows this ever increasing enlistment of 
woman in ever increasing numbers, have been detailed above in extenso. 
Woman is increasingly employed along with man, or in liis place, because 
her material demands are less than those of man. A circumstance 
predicated upon her very nature as a sexual being, forces woman to 
proffer herself cheaper. More frequently, on an average, than man, woman 
is subject to physical derangements, that cause an interruption of work, 
and that, in view of the combination and organization of labor, in force 
to-day in large production, easily interfere with the steady course of 
production. Pregnancy and lying-in prolong such pauses. The employer 
turns the circumstance to advantage, and recoups liimself doubly for the 
inconveniences, that these disturbances put him to, with the payment 
of much lower wages. 

Moreover— as may be judged from the quotation on page 90, taken from 
Marx's "Capital"— the work of married women has a particular fascination 
for the employer. The married woman is, as working-woman, much more 
"attentive and docile" than her unmarried sister. Thought of her 
children drives her to the utmost exertion of her powers, in order to 
earn the needed livelihood; accordingly, she submits to many an 
imposition that the unmarried woman does not. In general, the 
working-woman ventures only exceptionally to join her fellow-toilers in 
securing better conditions of work. That raises her value in the eyes of 
the employer; not infrequently she is even a trump card in his hands 
against refractory workingmen. Moreover, she is endowed with great 
patience, greater dexterity of fingers, a better developed artistic 
sense, the latter of which renders her fitter than man for many branches 

163 



of 



wort 



These female "virtues" are fully appreciated by the virtuous capitalist, 
and thus, along with the development of industry, woman finds from year 
to year an ever wider field for her application— but, and this is the 
determining factor, without tangible improvement to her social 
condition. If woman labor is employed, it generally sets male labor 
free. The displaced male labor, however, wishes to live; it proffers 
itself for lower wages; and the proffer, in turn, re-acts depressingly 
upon the wages of the working-woman. The reduction of wages thus turns 
into an endless screw, that, [because of] the constant revolutions in the 
technique of the labor-process, is set rotating all the more swiftly, 
seeing that the said technical revolutions, through the savings of 
labor-power, set also female labor free,— all of which again increases 
the supply of hands. New industries somewhat counteract the constant 
supply of relatively superfluous labor-power, but are not strong enough 
to establish lasting improvement. Every rise of wages above a certain 
measure causes the employer to look to further improvements in his 
plant, calculated to substitute will-less, automatic mechanical devices 
for human hands and human brain. At the start of capitalist production, 
hardly any but male labor confronted male labor in the labor-market; now 
sex is played against sex, and, further along the line, age against age. 
Woman displaces man, and, in her turn, woman is displaced by younger 
folks and child-labor. Such is the "Moral Order" in modern industry. 

The endeavor, on the part of employers, to extend the horns of work, 
with the end in view of pumping more surplus values out of their 
employees, is made easier to them, thanks to the slighter power of 
resistance possessed by women. Hence the phenomenon that, in the textile 
industries, for instance, in which women frequently constitute far more 
than one-half of the total labor employed, the hours of work are 
everywhere longest. Accustomed from home to the idea that her work is 
"never done," woman allows the increased demands to be placed upon her 
without resistance. In other branches, as in the millinery trade, the 
manufacture of flowers, etc., wages and horns of work deteriorate 
through the taking home of extra tasks, at which the women sit till 
midnight, and even later, without realizing that they thereby only 
compete against themselves, and, as a result, earn in a sixteen-hour 
workday what they would have made in a regular ten-hour day. 124 In 
what measure female labor has increased in the leading industrial 
countries may appear from the below sets of tables. We shall start with 
the leading industrial country of Europe,— England. The last census 
furnishes this picture: 



164 



Total Persons 

Year. Employed. Male*. Feraalea- 

1871 11,593,406 8,270,186 3,323,280 

1881 11,187,664 7,783,646 3,403,018 

1891 12,898,484 8,883,254 4,010,230 

Accordingly, within twenty years, the number of males employed increased 
613,068, or 7.9 per cent.; the number of females, however, by 692,950, 
or 20.9 per cent. It is especially to be observed in this table that, in 
1881, a year of crisis, the number of males employed fell off by 
486,540, and the number of females increased by 80,638. The increase of 
female at the cost of male persons employed is thus emphatically brought 
to light. But within the increasing number of female employees itself a 
change is going on: younger forces aie displacing the older. It 
transpired that in England, during the years 1881-1891, female 
labor-power of the age 10 to 45 had increased, while that above 45 had 
decreased. 

Industries in which female exceeded considerably the number of male 
labor, were mainly the following: 

Industries. Females. Males. 

Manufacture of woman's clothing. . . .415,961 4,470 

Cotton industry 332,784 213,231 

Manufacture of worsted goods 69,629 40,482 

Manufacture of shirts 52,943 2,153 

Manufacture of hosiery 30,887 18,200 

Lace industry 21,716 13,030 

Tobacco industry 15,880 13,090 

Bookbinding 14,249 11,487 

Manufacture of gloves 9,199 2,756 

Teachers 144,393 50,628 

Again the wages of women are, in almost all branches, considerably lower 
than the wages of men for die same hows. In the year 1 883, the wages 
in England were for men and women as follows, per week:— 

Industries. Males. Females. 

Flax and jute factories .... 26 Marks 10 — 11 Marks 

Manufacture of glass. .... .38 " 12 " 

Printing 32 — 36 " 10 — 12 " 

Carpet factories 29 " 15 

Weaving 26 " 16 

Shoemaking 29 " 16 

Dyeing 2B — 29 " 12 — 13 

Similar differences in wages for men and women are found in the Post 
Office service, in school teaching, etc. Only in the cotton industry in 
Lancashire did both sexes earn equal wages for equal hours of work in 
the tending of power looms. 

In the United States, according to the census of 1890, there were 
2,652,157 women, of the age often years and over engaged in productive 
occupations:— 594,510 in agriculture, 631,988 in manufacture, 59,364 in 



165 



trade and transportation, and 1,366,235 in personal service, of whom 
938,910 were servants. Besides that, there were 46,800 female farmers 
and planters, 5,135 Government employees, 155,000 school teachers, 13,182 
teachers of music, 2,061 artists. 125 In the city of New York, 10,961 
working-women participated in strikes during the year 1890, a sign that 
working-women in the United States, like their European fellow-female 
wage slaves, understand the class distinctions that exist between 
Capital and Labor. In what measure women are displacing the men in a 
number of industries in the United States also, is indicated by the 
following item from the "Levest. Journ." in 1893: 

"One of the featuies of the factory towns of Maine is a class of men 
that may be termed 'housekeepers.' In almost every town, where much 
factory work is done, these men are to be found in large numbers. 
Whoever calls shortly before noon will find them, with aprons tied in 
front, washing dishes. At other hours of the day they can be seen 
scrubbing, making the beds, washing the children, tidying up the place, 
or cooking. Whether any of them attend to the sewing and mending of the 
family we are not quite sure. These men attend to the household for the 
simple reason that their wives can earn more in the factory than they, 
and it means a saving of money if the wife goes to work." 126 

The closing sentence should read: "Because the women work for wages that 
the men can no longer work for, and the employer therefore prefers 
women,"— which happens in Germany also. The towns here described are the 
so-called "she-towns," already more fully referred to. 

In France, there were, in 1893, not less than 15,958 women engaged in 
the railroad sendee (in the offices and as ticket agents); in the 
provincial Post Office there were 5,383 women employed; as telegraphers 
and telephonists, 9,805; and in the state Savings Banks 425. Altogether 
the number of women in France engaged in gainful occupations, inclusive 
of agriculture and personal service, was, in 1893, in round figures 
4,415,000. Of 3,858 decisions, rendered by the trades courts of Paris, 
not less than 1,674 concerned women. 

To what extent female labor was applied in the industries of Switzerland 
as early as 1886, is told by the following figures of the "Bund": 

Industries. Males. Females. 

Silk industry 11,771 51,352 

Cotton industry 18,320 23,843 

Xiinen and half -linen industry 5,553 5,232 

Embroidery 15,724 21,000 

Altogether, there were then in the textile industries, 103,452 women 
engaged, besides 52,838 men; and the "Bund" expressly declares that 
there is hardly an occupation in Switzerland in which women are not 



166 



found. 

In Germany, according to die census of occupations of 1882, of die 
7,340,789 persons engaged in gainful occupations, 1,506,743 were women; 
or 20.6 per cent. The proportions were, among others, these:— 



Industries. Males. 

Commercial occupations 536,221 

Service and restaurants 172,841 

Messengers and day laborers 9,212 

Spinning 69,272 

Weaving 336,400 

Embroidery 42,819 

Lace and crochet work 5,676 

Lace manufacture 13,526 

Bookbinding and paste-board box-making.... 31,312 

Paper manufacture 37,685 

Tobacco working 64,477 

Clothes-making, etc 279,978 

To these must be added 2,248,909 women engaged in agriculture, 1,282,400 
female servants, also school teachers, artists, Government 
office-holders, etc. 

According to the census of occupations for 1875-1882, the following was 
the result. There were employed in industrial occupations in the German 
Empire:— 

Total Total Persons Employed. 

Persons Employed. In the Small Trades. In the Large Trades. 
Year. Males. Females. Males. Females. Males. Females. 

1875 6,463,856 1,116,095 3,453,357 705,874 2,010,499 410,221 

1882 5,815,039 1,506,743 3,487,073 989,422 2,327,966 614,321 





Per 


females. 


Cent. 


181,286 


26.2 


141,407 


45.0 


3,266 


26.2 


100,459 


60.0 


155,396 


32.0 


31,010 


42.0 


30,204 


84.0 


17,478 


66.4 


10,409 


25.0 


20,847 


35.6 


48,919 


43.1 


440,870 


61.2 



Increase 


in 










1882 . . 


. . 351,183 


390,648 


33,716 


283,548 


317,966 107,100 




or 6.4 


or 35 


or 1 


or 40.2 


or 15.8 or 26.1 




per cent. 


per cent. 


per cent. 


per cent. 


per cent, per cent. 



According to these figures, not only did female labor increase by 35 per 
cent, during the period of 1875-1882, while male labor increased only 
by 6.4 per cent., but the great increase of female labor, especially in 
small industries, tells the tale that only by dh.it ol a strong 
apphcation of female labor, with its correspondingly low wages, can 
small production keep itself afloat, for a wlhle. 

In 1882, there were to every 1,000 persons engaged in industry 176 
women; in commerce and transportation, 190; in agriculture, 312. 

In 1892, the number of women, employed in the factories of Germany, were 
of the following ages: 



167 



Number 
Age. Employed. 

12-14 _ 3,807 

14- 16 68,735 

16-21 223,538 

Over 81 337,409 

Besides (for Reuss younger line -without designa- 
tion of ages ) 6,197 

639.866 

In the Kingdom of Saxony, notedly the most industrial portion of 
Germany, the number of working-women employed in the factories was: 

Year. 16 Years and Over. 12 to 16. 

1883 72,716 8,477 

1892 1 10,555 13,333 



Increase 37,839 4,856 

52 per cent. 57 per cent. 

As a result of the new factory regulations, which limited the hours of 
female labor, between the ages of 1 4 to 1 6, to 1 a day, and wholly 
forbade factory work to children of school age, the number of 
working-women between the ages of 14 to 16 sank to 6,763, and of girls 
between the ages of 12 to 14, sank by 6,334. The strongest increase in 
the number of working-women, as far as we are informed, took place in 
the tobacco industry of Baden. According to the reports of the Baden 
Factory Inspector, Dr. Woerishoffer, the number of persons engaged in 
the said industry and their subdivisions by sexes; was as follows: 

Total Number 

Year. Employed. Males. Females. 

1882 12,192 6,193 6,999 

1892 24,056 7,932 16,124 



Increase 11,864 2,739 9,125 

or 52.S or 130 

per cent. per cent. 



This increase in the number of female tobacco workers, denotes the 
sharpening competitive struggle, that has developed during the last ten 
years in the German tobacco as well as many other industries, and which 
compels the ever intenser engagement of the cheaper labor of woman. 

And, as in the rest of Germany, so likewise in Baden the industrial 
development in general shows a larger increase of female than of male 
workers. Within a year", it recorded the following changes:— 

Year. Males. Females. 

1892 79,218 36,598 

1893 84,470 38,557 



Incresa* 5,252 2,959 

or 6.6 or 8.3 

per cent. per cent. 



168 



Of the working-women over 16 years of age, 28.27 [per cent] were married. In the 
large ammunition factory at Spandau, there were, in 1893, 3,000 women 
out of a total of 3,700 employees. 

As in England, in Germany also, female labor is paid worse than male. 
According to the report of the [Leipzig] Chamber of Commerce for the year 
1888, the weekly wage for equal horns were:— 

Males. Female*. 

Industries. Marks. Marks. 

Lace manufacture 20 35 7 16 

Cloth glove manufacture . . 12 30 & 26 

Linen and jute weaving. . . 12 27 6 lO 

Wool-carding 15 27 7 .20 10.20 

Sugar refinery 10.50 31 7.SO lO 

Leather and leather goods. 12 28 7 18 

Chemicals 8.50 25 7.60 lO 

Rubber fabrics O 28 6 17 

One factory of paper lan- 
terns 16 22 7.50 lO 

In an investigation of the wages earned by the factory hands of Mannheim 
in 1893, Dr. Woerishoffer divided the weekly earnings into three 
classes: one, the lowest, in which the wages reached 15 marks; one from 
15 to 24; and the last and highest in which wages exceeded 24 marks. 
According to this subdivision, wages in Mannheim presented the following 
picture:— 

pluses : one, the lowest, in which the wages reached IS marks ; one from 
15 to 24; and the last and highest in -which wages exceeded 24 marks, 
according to this subdivision, wages in Mannheim presented the following 
picture : — ■ 

Low. Medium. High. 

Both sexes ..29.8 per cent. 49.8 per cent. 20.4 per cent. 

Males 20.9 per cent. 56.2 per cent. 22.9 per cent. 

Females 99,2 per cent. 0.7 per cent. 0.1 per cent. 



The working-women earned mostly veritable starvation wages. They 
received per week:— 

Percentage 
Marks. of Females. 

Under 5 4.62 

fi 6 5.47 

6 — 8 43.96 

8 lO 27.46 

10 — 12 12.38 

12 — 15 5.38 

Over 16 0.74 



In the Thueringer Wald district, in 1891, the workingmen engaged in the 
slate works received 2.10 marks a day; the women 0.70. In the spinning 
establishments, the men received 2 marks, the women from 0.90 to 1 mark. 

Worst of all are the earnings in the tenement industry, for men as well 

169 



as for women, but for the women it is still more miserable than for the 
men. In this branch, hours of work are unlimited; when the season is on, 
they transcend imagination. Furthermore, it is here that the sweating 
system is generally in vogue, i.e., work given out by middlemen 
(contractors) who, in recompense for their irksome labor of 
superintendence, keep to themselves a large part of the wages paid by 
the principal. Under this system, women are also expected to submit to 
indignities of other nature. 

How miserably female labor is paid in the tenement industries, the 
following figures on Berlin conditions may indicate. Men's colored 
shirts, paid for in 1889 with from 2 marks to 2.50, the employer got in 
1893 for 1 mark 50 pfennig. A seamstress of average skill must work from 
early till late if she means to make from 6 to 8 of these shirts. Her 
earnings for the week are 4 or 5 marks. An apron-maker earns from 2 
marks 50 pfennig to 5 marks a week; a necktie-maker, 5 to 6 marks; a 
skilled blouse-maker, 6 marks; a very skilled female operator on boys' 
clothing, 8 to 9 marks; an expert jacket-maker, 5 to 6 marks. A very 
swift seamstress on men's shirts may, in the good season, and working 
from 5 in the morning to 10 at night, make as much as 12 marks. 
Millinery workers, who can copy patterns independently, make 30 marks a 
month. Quick trimmers, with years of experience, earn from 50 to 60 
marks a month during the season. The season usually lasts five months. 
An umbrella-maker, working twelve hours a day, makes 6 to 7 marks. Such 
starvation wages force the working-women into prostitution: even with 
the very plainest wants, no working-women can live in Berlin on less 
than 8 or 9 marks a week. 

According to a statistical report on wages, ordered by the Chamber of 
Commerce of Reichenberg for its own district, 91 per cent, of all the 
working-women came under the wage category of from 2 to 5 guilders a 
week. Upon the enforcement in Austria of the law on sick insurance, the 
authorities discovered that in 116 districts (21.6 per cent, of all) the 
working-women earned at most 30 kreuzer a day, 90 guilders a year; and 
in 428 districts (78.4 per cent, of the total) from 30 to 50 kreuzer, or 
from 90 to 150 guilders a year. The young working-women, under 16 years 
of age, earned in 173 districts (30.9 per cent.) 20 kreuzer a day at the 
most, or at the most 60 guilders a year; and in 387 districts (69.1 per 
cent.) from 20 to 30 kreuzer, or from 60 to 90 guilders a year. 

Similar differences between the wages of male and female labor exist in 
all countries on earth. According to the report on Russian industry at 
the Chicago Exposition in 1 893, a woi kingman made in cotton weaving 66 
marks a month, a working-woman 18; a male cotton spinner 66 marks, a 
female 14. In the lace industry men earned up to 130 marks, women 26; in 
cloth manufacture, with the power loom, a working man made 90 marks, a 
working-woman 26 a month. 

170 



These facts show that woman is increasingly torn from family life by 
modern developments. Marriage and the family, in the bourgeois sense, 
are undermined by this development, and dissolved. From the view point 
afforded by this fact also, it is an absurdity to direct women to a 
domestic life. That can be done only by such people, who thoughtlessly 
walk the path of life; who fail to see the facts that shape themselves 
all around, or do not wish to see them, because they have an interest in 
plying the trade of optimism. Facts furnish a very different picture 
from that presented by such gentlemen. 

In a large number of industries women are employed exclusively; in a 
larger number they constitute the majority; and in most of the others 
women are more or less numerously found. Their number steadily 
increases, and they crowd into ever newer occupations, that they had not 
previously engaged in. Finally, the working-woman is not merely paid 
worse than the working man; where she does as much as a man, her hours 
are, on an average, longer. 

The German factory ordinances of the year 1891 fixed a maximum of eleven 
hours for adult working-women. The same is, however, broken through by a 
mass of exceptions that the authorities are allowed to make. Nightwork 
also is forbidden for working-women in factories, but here also the 
Government can make exceptions in favor of factories where work is 
continuous, or for special seasons; in sugar refineries, for instance. 
German legislation has not yet been able to rise to the height of 
really effective measures for the protection of working-women; 
consequently, these are exploited by inhumanly long hours, and 
physically wrecked in the small factories, especially in the tenement 
house industry. Their exploitation is made all the easier to the 
employer through the circumstance that, until now, a small minority 
excepted, the women have not realized that, the same as the men, they 
must organize in their trades, and, there where also men are employed, 
they must organize jointly with them, in order to conquer for themselves 
better conditions of work. The ever stronger influx of women in 
industrial pursuits affects, however, not those occupations only that 
their correspondingly weaker physique especially fits them for, but it 
affects also all occupations in which the modern system of exploitation 
believes it can, with their aid, knock off larger profits. Under this 
latter head belong both the physically exhausting and the most 
disagreeable and dangerous occupations. Thus the fantastic pretence of 
seeing in woman only a tender, finely-strung being, such as poets and 
writers of fiction love to depict for the delectation of men, a being, 
that, if it exists at all exists only as an exception, is again reduced 
to its true value. 

Facts are obstinate things, and it is only they that concern us. They 

171 



alone preserve us from false conclusions, and sentimental twaddle. These 
facts teach us that to-day we find women engaged in the following 
occupations, among others:— in cotton, linen and woolen weaving; in 
cloth and flannel making; in mechanical spinning, calico printing and 
dyeing; in steel pen and pin making; in the preparation of sugar, 
chocolate and cocoa; in manufacturing paper and bronzes; in making glass 
and porcelain and in glass painting; in the manufacture of faience, 
majolica and earthen ware; in making ink and preparing paints; making 
twine and paper bags; in preparing hops and manure and chemical 
disinfectants; in spinning and weaving silk and ribbons; in making soap, 
candles and rubber goods; in wadding and mat making; in carpet weaving; 
portfolio and cardboard making; in making lace and trimmings, and 
embroidering; making wall-paper, shoes and leather goods; in refining 
oil and lard and preparing chemicals of all sorts; in making jewelry and 
galvanoplastic goods; in the preparation of rags and refuse and bast; in 
wood caning, xylography and stone coloring; in straw hat making and 
cleaning; in making crockery, cigars and tobacco products; in making 
lime and gelatine fabrics; in making shoes; in furriery; in hat making; 
in making toys; in the flax, shoddy and hair industries; in watchmaking 
and housepainting; in the making of spring beds, pencils and wafers; in 
making looking-glasses, matches and gunpowder preparations; in dipping 
phosphorus match-sticks and preparing arsenic; in the tinning of iron; 
in the delicacy trade; in book printing and composition; in the 
preparation of precious stones; in lithography, photography, 
chromo-lithography and metachromotype, and also in the founding of 
types; in tile making, iron founding and in the preparation of metals 
generally; in the construction of houses and railroads; in electrical 
works; in book-binding, wood-carving and joining; in the making of 
footwear and clothing; file making; the making of knives and brass 
goods; in manufacturing combs, buttons, gold thread and gas implements; 
in the making of tanned goods and trunks; in making starch and chicory 
preparations; in metallurgy, wood-planing, umbrella making and fish 
manufacturing; the preservation of fruit, vegetables and meat; in the 
making of china buttons and fur goods; in mining above ground— in 
Belgium also underground after the women are 21 years old; in the 
natural oil and wax production; in slate making and stone breaking; in 
marble and granite polishing; in making cement; the transportation of 
barges and canal boats. Also in the wide field of horticulture, 
agriculture and cattle-breeding, and all that is therewith connected. 
Lastly, in the various industries in which they have long been 
considered to have the right of way: in the making of linen and woman's 
clothing, in the several branches of fashion, also as saleswomen, and 
more recently as clerks, teachers, kindergarten trainers, writers, 
artists of all sorts. Thousands upon thousands of women of the middle 
class are being utilized as slaves in the shops and in the markets, and 
are thereby withdrawn from all domestic functions, the training of 
children in particular. Finally, there is one occupation to be 

172 



mentioned, in which young, especially pretty, girls are ever more in 
demand, to the great injury of their physical and moral development: it 
is the occupation in public resorts of all sorts as bar-maids, singers, 
dancers, etc., to attract men in quest of pleasure. This is a field in 
which impropriety runs riot, and the holders of white slaves lead the 
wildest orgies. 

Among the occupations mentioned, not a few are most dangerous. 
Dangerous, for instance, are the sulphuric and alkaline gases in the 
manufacturing and cleaning of straw hats; so is the inhalation of 
chlorine gases in the bleaching of vegetable materials; the danger of 
poisoning is imminent in the manufacture of colored paper, colored 
wafers and artificial flowers; in the preparation of metachromotype, 
poisons and chemicals; in the painting of leaden soldiers and leaden 
toys. The on-laying of looking-glasses with quicksilver is simply deadly 
to the fruit of pregnant women. If, of the live-births in Prussia, 22 
per cent, on an average die during the first year, there die, according 
to Dr. Hilt, 65 per cent, of the live-births of female on-layers of 
quicksilver, 55 per cent, of those of female glass-polishers, 40 per 
cent, of those of female lead-makers. In 1890, out of 78 lying-in women, 
who had been occupied in the type foundries of the district of 
Wiesbaden, only 37 had a normal delivery. Furthermore, according to Dr. 
Hilt, the manufacture of colored paper and artificial flowers, the 
so-called powdering of Brussels lace with white lead, the preparation of 
decalcomania pictures, the on-laying of mirrors, the manufacture of 
rubber goods, in short, all occupations at which the working-women are 
exposed to the inhalation of carbonic acid gases, are especially 
dangerous from the second half of pregnancy onward. Highly dangerous is 
also the manufacture of phosphorus matches and work in the shoddy mills. 
According to the report of the Baden Trades Inspector for 1 893, the 
yearly average of premature births with women engaged in industry rose 
from 1,039 in the years 1882-1886, to 1,244 in the years 1887-1891. The 
number of births that had to be aided by an operation averaged for the 
period of 1882-1886 the figures of 1,1 18 a year, and for the period of 
1886-1891 it averaged 1,385. Facts much graver than any of these would 
come to light if similar investigations were held also in the more 
industrially developed countries and provinces of Germany. As a rule the 
Inspectors are satisfied with stating in their reports: "No specially 
injurious effects were discovered in the employment of women in the 
factories." How could they discover any, with their short visits and 
without drawing upon medical advice? That, moreover, there are great 
dangers to life and limb, especially in the textile industry, in the 
manufacture of explosives and in work with agricultural machinery, is an 
established fact. Even a glance at the above and quite incomplete list 
will tell every reader that a large number of these occupations are 
among the hardest and most exhausting even to men. Let people say as 
they please, this work or that is not suitable for woman; what boots the 

173 



objection if no other and more suitable occupation is furnished her? 

Among the branches of industry, or special occupations in the same, that 
Dr. Hirt 12 ' considers girls should not be at all employed in, by 
reason of the danger to health, especially with an eye to their sexual 
functions, are: The preparation of bronze colors, of velvet and glazed 
paper, hat making, glass grinding, lithography, flax combing, horsehair 
twisting, fustian pulling, iron tinning, and work in the flax and shoddy 
mill. 

In the following trades, young girls should be occupied only when the 
necessary protective measures (ventilation, etc.) are properly provided 
for: The manufacture of paper matting, china w r are, lead pencils, shot 
lead, etherial oils, alum, blood-lye, bromium, chinin, soda, paraffin 
and ultramarine (poisonous) colored paper, wafers that contain poison, 
metachromotypes, phosphorous matches, Schweinfurt green and artificial 
flow r ers. Also in the cutting and sorting of rags, sorting and coloring 
of tobacco leaf, cotton beating, w r ool and silk carding, cleaning of bed 
feathers, sorting pencil hairs, washing (sulphur) straw r hats, 
vulcanizing and melting rubber, coloring and printing calico, painting 
lead soldiers, packing snuff, wire netting, on-laying of mirrors, 
grinding needles and steel pens. 

Truly, it is no inspiring sight to see women, and even pregnant ones, at 
the construction of railroads, pushing heavily laden wheelbarrows in 
competition with men; or to watch them as helpers, mixing mortar and 
cement or carrying heavy loads of stone at the construction of houses; 
or in the coal pits and iron w r orks. All that is womanly is thereby 
rubbed off from woman, her womanliness is trodden under foot, the same 
as, conversely, all manly attributes are stripped from the men in 
hundreds of other occupations. Such are the sequels of social 
exploitation and of social w r ar. Our corrupt social conditions turn 
things topsy-turvy. 

It is, accordingly, easy to understand that, considering the extent to 
which female labor now prevails, and threatens to make still further 
inroads in all fields of productive activity, the men, highly interested 
in the development, look on with eyes far from friendly, and that here 
and there the demand is heard for the suppression of female labor and 
its prohibition by law r . Unquestionably, with the extension of female 
labor, the family life of the working class goes ever more to pieces, 
the dissolution of marriage and the family is a natural result, and 
immorality, demoralization, degeneration, diseases of all natures and 
child mortality increase at a shocking pace. According to the statistics 
of population of the Kingdom of Saxony, child mortality has greatly 
increased in all those cities that became genuine manufacturing places 
during the last 25 or 30 years. During the period 1880-1885 there died 

174 



in the cities of Saxony, on an average, 28.5 per cent, of the 
live-births during the first year of life. In the period of 1886-1890, 
45.0 of the live-births died in Ernsthal during the first year of their 
lives, 44.5 in Stalling, 40.4 in Zschopan, 38.9 in Lichtenstein, 38.3 in 
Thmn, 38.2 in Meerane, 37.7 in Crimmitschau, 37.2 in Burgstaedt, 37.1 in 
Werdan, 36.5 in Ehrenfriedersdorf, 35.8 in Chemnitz, 35.5 in 
Frankenberg, 35.2 in Buchholz, 35.1 in Schneeberg, 34.7 in Lunzenau, 
34.6 in Hartha, 34.5 in Geithaini, etc. 128 Worse yet stood things in 
the majority of the large factory villages, quite a number of whom 
registered a mortality of 40 to 50 per cent. Yet, all this 
notwithstanding, the social development, productive of such sad results, 
is progress,— precisely such progress as the freedom to choose a trade, 
freedom of emigration, freedom to many, and the removal of all other 
barriers, thus promoting the development of capitalism on a large scale, 
but thereby also giving the death-blow to the middle class and preparing 
its downfall. 

The working class is not inclined to help the small producer, should he 
attempt the re-establishment of restrictions to the freedom to choose a 
trade and of emigration, or the restoration of the guild and corporation 
restrictions, contemplated with the end in view of artificially keeping 
dwarf-production alive for a little while longer,— more than that is 
beyond their pow r er. As little is a return possible to the former state 
of things with regard to female labor, but that does not exclude 
stringent law r s for the prevention of the excessive exploitation of 
female and child labor, and of children of school age. In this the 
interests of the working class coincides with the interests of the 
state, of humanity, in general, and of civilization. When we see the 
state compelled to low r er the minimum requirements for military 
service— as happened several times during the last decades, the last 
time in 1893, when the army w r as to be further increased— and w r e see such 
lowering of the minimum requirements resorted to for the reason that, as 
a result of degenerating effects of our economic system, the number of 
young men unfit for military service becomes ever larger,— when we see 
that, then, forsooth, all are interested in protective measures. The 
ultimate aim must be to remove the ills, that progress— such as 
machinery, improved means of production and the whole modern system of 
labor— has called forth, while at the same time causing the enormous 
advantages, that such progress is instinct with for man, and the still 
greater advantages it is capable of, to accrue in full measure to all 
the members of society, by means of a corresponding organization of 
human labor. 129 

It is an absurdity and a crying wrong that the improvements and 
conquests of civilization— the collective product of all— accrue to the 
benefit of those alone who, in virtue of their material pow r er, are able 
to appropriate them to themselves, while, on the other hand, thousands 

175 



of diligent workingmen are assailed with fear and worry when they learn 
that human genius has made yet another invention able to multiply many 
fold the product of manual labor, and thereby opening to them the 
prospect of being thrown as useless and superfluous upon the sidewalks. 
Thus, that which should be greeted with universal joy becomes an object 
of hostility, that in former years occasioned the storming of many a 
factory and the demolition of many a new machine. A similar hostile 
feeling exists to-day between man and woman as workers. This feeling 
also is unnatural. The point, consequently, is to seek to establish a 
social condition in which the Rill equality of all without distinction 
of sex shall be the norm of conduct. 

The feat is feasible— the moment all the means ofproduction become 
the property of society; when collective labor, by the application of 
all technical and scientific advantages and aids in the process of 
production, reaches the highest degree of fertility; and when the 
obligation lies upon all, capable of work, to furnish a certain measure 
of labor to society, necessary for the satisfaction of social wants, in 
exchange whereof society guaiantees to each and all the means requisite 
for the development of his faculties and for the enjoyment of life. 

Woman shall be like man, a productive and useful member of society, 
equal-righted with him. Precisely like man, she shall be placed in 
position to fully develop all her physical and mental faculties, to 
fulfil her duties, and to exercise her rights. A free being and the peer 
of man, she is safe against degradation. 

We shall point out how modern developments in society run out into such 
a state of things, and that it is these very crass and monstrous ills in 
modern development that compel the establishment of the New Order. 

Although the development of the position of woman, as above 
characterized, is palpable, is tangible to the sight of all who have 
eyes to see, the twaddle about the "natural calling" of woman is heard 
daily, assigning her to domestic duties and the family. The phrase is 
heard loudest there where woman endeavors to penetrate into the sphere 
of the so-called higher professions, as for instance, the higher 
departments of instruction and of the civil service, the medical or 
legal careers, and the pursuit of the natural sciences. The most 
laughable and absurd objections are fetched up, and are defended with 
the ail' of "learning." Gentlemen, who pass for learned, appeal, in this 
as in so many other things, to science in order to defend the most 
absurd and untenable propositions. Their chief trump card is that woman 
is inferior to man in mental powers and that it is folly to believe she 
could achieve aught of importance in the intellectual field. 

These objections, raised by the "learned," fit so well with the general 

176 



prejudices entertained by men on the calling and faculties of woman 
that, whoever makes use of them can count upon the applause of the 
majority. 

New ideas will ever meet with stubborn opposition so long as general 
culture and knowledge continue at so low an ebb as at present, 
especially if it lies in the interest of the ruling classes to confine 
culture and knowledge as much as possible to their own ranks. Hence new 
ideas will at the start win over but a small minority, and this will be 
scoffed at, maligned and persecuted. But if these new ideas are good and 
sound, if they are born as the necessary consequence of existing 
conditions, then will they spread, and the one-time minority finally 
becomes a majority. So has it been with all new ideas in the course of 
history: the idea of establishing the complete emancipation of woman 
presents the same experience. 

Were not one time the believers in Christianity a small minority? Did 
not the Protestant Reformers and modern bourgeoisdom once face 
overpowering adversaries? And yet they triumphed. Was the Social 
Democracy crippled because gagged and pinioned by exclusion laws, so 
that it could not budge? Never was its triumph more assured than when it 
was thought to have been killed. The Social Democracy overcame the 
exclusion laws; it will overcome quite other obstacles besides. 

The claim regarding the "natural calling of woman," according whereto 
she should be housekeeper and nurse, is as unfounded as the claim that 
there will ever be kings because, since the start of history, there have 
been such somewhere. We know not where the first king sprang up, as 
little as we know where the first capitalist stepped upon the scene. 
This, however, we do know: Kingship has undergone material changes in 
the course of the centuries, and the tendency of development is to strip 
it ever more of its powers, until a time comes, no longer far away, when 
it will be found wholly superfluous. As with the kingship, so with all 
other social and political institutions; they are all subject to 
continuous changes and transformations, and to final and complete decay. 
We have seen, in the course of the preceding historic sketch, that the 
form of marriage, in force to-day, like the position of woman, was by no 
means such "eternally"; that, on the contrary, both were the product of 
a long process of development, which has by no means reached its acme, 
and can reach it only in the future. If 2,400 or 2,300 years ago 
Demosthenes could designate the "bringing forth of legitimate children 
and officiating as a faithful warder of the house" as the only 
occupation of woman, to-day we have traveled past that point. Who, 
to-day, would dare uphold such a position of woman as "natural" without 
exposing himself to the charge of belittling her? True enough, there are 
even to-day such sots, who share in silence the views of the old 
Athenian; but none dare proclaim publicly that which 2,300 years ago one 

177 



of the most eminent orators dared proclaim frankly and openly as 
natural. Therein lies the great advance made. 

If, on the one hand, modern development, especially in industrial life, 
has wrecked millions of marriages, it, on the other hand, promoted 
favorably the development itself of marriage. Only a few decades ago, 
and it was a matter of course in every citizen's or peasant's house not 
only that woman sewed, knitted and washed— although even this has now 
extensively gone out of fashion— but she also baked the bread, spun, 
wove, bleached, brewed beer, boiled soap, made candles. To have a piece 
of wearing apparel made out of the house was looked upon as unutterable 
waste. Water-pipes, gaslight, gas and oil cooking ranges— to say nothing 
of the respective electric improvements— together with numberless 
others, were wholly unknown to the women of former times. Antiquated 
conditions exist even to-day, but they are the exception. The majority 
of women have discontinued many an occupation, formerly considered of 
course, the same being attended to in factory and shop better, more 
expeditiously and cheaper than the housewife could, whence, at least in 
the cities, all domestic requirements for them are wanting. Thus, in the 
period of a few decades, a great revolution for them has been 
accomplished within our family life, and we pay so little attention to 
the fact because we consider it a matter of course. Phenomena, that 
develop, so to speak, under the very eyes of man, are not noticed by 
him, unless they appear suddenly and disturb the even tenor of events. 
He bristles up, however, against new ideas that threaten to lead him out 
of the accustomed ruts. 

The revolution thus accomplished in our domestic life, and that 
progresses ever further, has altered the position of woman in the 
family, in other directions besides. Woman has become freer, more 
independent. Our grandmothers, if they were honest masters' wives, would 
not have dared, and, indeed the thought never crossed their minds, to 
keep their working people and apprentices from the table, and visiting, 
instead, the theatres, concerts and pleasure resorts, by day at that. 
Which of those good old women dared think of occupying her mind with 
public affairs, as is now done by many women? To-day they start 
societies for all manner of objects, establish papers, call conventions. 
As working-women they assemble in trades unions, they attend the 
meetings and join the organizations of men, and here and there— we are 
speaking of Germany— they have had the right of electing boards of labor 
arbitration, a right that the backward majority of the Reichstag took 
away again from them in the year of grace one thousand eight hundred and 
ninety. 

What sot would seek to annul the changes just described, although the 
fact is not to be gainsaid that, there are also dark sides to the bright 
sides of the picture, consequent upon our" seething and decaying 

178 



conditions? The bright sides, however, predominate. Women themselves, 
however conservative they are as a body, have no inclination to return 
to the old, narrow, patriarchal conditions of former times. 

In the United States society still stands, true enough, on bourgeois 
foundations; but it is forced to wrestle neither with old European 
prejudices nor with institutions that have survived their day. As a 
consequence American society is far readier to adopt new ideas and 
institutions that promise advantage. For some time the position of 
woman has been looked upon from a viewpoint different than ours. There, 
for instance, the idea has long taken hold that it is not merely 
troublesome and improper, but not even profitable to the purse, for the 
wife to bake bread and brew beer, but that it is unnecessary for her to 
cook in her own kitchen. The private kitchen is supplanted by 
co-operative cooking, with a large central kitchen and machinery. The 
women attend to the work by turns, and the meals generally come out 
cheaper, taste better, offer a greater variety, and give much less 
trouble. Our army officers, who are not decried as Socialists and 
Communists, act on a similar plan. They establish in their casinos a 
co-operative kitchen; appoint a steward, who attends to the supply of 
victuals on a large scale; the bill of fare is arranged in common; and 
the food is prepared in the steam kitchen of the barracks. They live 
much cheaper than in a hotel, and fare at least as well. Furthermore, 
thousands of the rich families live the whole year, or part of the year, 
in boarding-houses or hotels, without in any way missing the private 
kitchen. On the contrary, they consider it a great convenience to be rid 
of it. The aversion of especially well-to-do women towards all matters 
connected with the kitchen does not seem to indicate that this function 
either belongs to the category of the "natural calling" of woman. On the 
contrary, the circumstance that princely and other prominent families do 
like the hotels, and all of them engage male cooks for the preparation 
of their food, would rather indicate that cooking is a male 
occupation.— All of which is stated for the benefit of those people who 
are unable to picture to themselves a woman not brandishing a kitchen 
ladle. 

It is but a step to set up, beside the central kitchen, also the central 
laundry and corresponding steaming arrangements for public use— as 
already established in all large cities by rich private persons or 
speculators, and found highly profitable. With the central kitchen may 
also be connected central heating, warm water along with cold water 
pipes, whereby a number of bothersome and time-consuming labors are done 
away with. Large hotels, many private houses, hospitals, schools, 
barracks, etc., have now these and many other such arrangements, such as 
electric light and baths. The only fault to find is that only public 
establishments and the well-to-do classes enjoy these advantages. Placed 
within the reach of all, an enormous amount of time, trouble, labor and 

179 



material could be saved, and die standard of life and the well-being of 
all raised considerably. In the summer of 1890, the papers published a 
description of the progress made in the United States in the matter of 
centralized heating and ventilation. It was there stated: 

"The recent attempts, made especially in North America, to effect the 
heating of whole blocks of houses or city wards from one place have to 
record no slight success. From the constructive point of view, they have 
been carried out so carefully and effectively that, in view of the 
favorable results and the financial advantages which they offer, their 
further extension may be confidently expected. More recently the attempt 
is being made to furnish from central locations not heat alone, but also 
fresh air, either warm or cool, to certain extensive but not too wide 
areas of the city. These plans are found in execution in the so-called 
Timby System, which, according to the central organ of the Department of 
Buildings, gathered from a report of the technical attache in 
Washington, Government Architect Petri, has recently been thoroughly 
explained in Washington by the 'National Heating and Ventilating 
Company.' The said company originally planned to supply 50,000 people 
from one place. The difficulties presented by the requisite speed of 
transit and the size of the pneumatic machines, have, however, caused a 
limitation to 0.8 kilometers, and in instances of specially closely 
built business quarters, the building of a special central power place." 

What was then only projected, has since been in great part executed. 
Philistine narrowness in Germany lives to shrug its shoulders at these 
and such like schemes, although in Germany also we find ourselves just 
now in the midst of one of those technical revolutions, that render the 
private kitchen, together with a number of other occupations, hitherto 
appertaining to the household, as superfluous as handicraft has been 
rendered by machinery and modern technique. In the early days of the 
nineteenth century, Napoleon pronounced insane the idea of constructing 
a ship that could be set in motion by steam. The idea of building a 
railroad was declared silly by many folks who passed for sensible: 
nobody, it was argued, could remain alive on such a conveyance: the 
rapidity of motion would deprive the passengers of breath. Identical 
treatment is to-day accorded to a number of new ideas. He who sixty 
years ago would have made to our women the proposition of replacing the 
carrying of water with water-pipes, would have been exposed to the 
charge of trying to lead women and servants into idleness. 

Nevertheless the great revolution in technique is in full march on all 
fields; nothing can any longer hold it back; and bourgeois society, 
having conjured the same into life, has the historic mission of also 
carrying the revolution to perfection, and to promote on all fields the 
budding of the germs for radical transformations, wliich a social order, 
built on new foundations, would only have to generalize on a large 

180 



scale, and make common property. 

The trend, accordingly, of our social life is not to banish woman back 
to the house and the hearth, as our "domestic life" fanatics prescribe, 
and after which they lust, like the Jews in the Desert after the 
fleshpots of Egypt. On the contrary, the whole trend of society is to 
lead woman out of the nairow sphere of strictly domestic life to a full 
paiticipation in die public life of the people— -a designation that will 
not then cover the male sex only— and in the task of human 
civilization. Laveleye fully recognized this when he wrote: 130 "In 
the measure that what we are in the habit of designating as civilization 
advances, the sentiments of piety and the family bonds weaken, and they 
exercise a decreasing influence upon the actions of men. This fact is so 
general that a law of social development may be recognized therein." Not 
only has the position of woman changed, but also the relation of son and 
daughter to the family, who have gradually attained a degree of 
independence unknown in former days,— a fact noticeable especially in 
the United States, where the self-dependent and independent education of 
the individual is carried on much further than with us. The dark sides 
that to-day accompany also this form of development, are not necessarily 
connected with it; they lie in the social conditions of our times. 
Capitalist society evokes no beneficent phenomenon unaccompanied with a 
dark side: as Fourier long ago pointed out with great perspicacity, 
capitalist society is in all its progressive steps double-faced and 
ambiguous. 

With Laveleye, Schaeffle also detects in the changed character of the 
family of our days the effect of social development. He says: 131 "It 
is true that the tendency described in Chapter II, to reduce and limit 
the family to its specific functions is traceable throughout history. 
The family relinquishes one provisional and temporary function after the 
other. In so far as it officiated only in a surrogate and gap-filling 
capacity it makes way to independent institutions for law, order, 
authority, divine service, education, technique, etc., as soon as these 
institutions take shape." 

Women are pressing even further, though as yet only in a minority, and 
only a fraction of these with clear aims. They aspire to measure their 
power with men, not on the industrial field alone; they aspire not only 
after a freer and more independent position in the family; they also 
aspire at turning their mental faculties to the higher walks of life. 
The favorite objection raised against them is that they are not fit for 
such pursuits, not being intended therefor by nature. The question of 
engaging in the higher professional occupations concerns at present only 
a small number of women in modern society; it is, however, important in 
point of principle. The large majority of men believe in all seriousness 
that, mentally as well, woman must ever remain subordinate to them, and, 

181 



hence, has no right to equality. They are, accordingly, the most 
determined opponents of woman's aspirations. 

The self-same men, who raise no objection whatever to the employment of 
woman in occupations, many of which are very exhausting, often 
dangerous, threaten the impairment of her feminine physique and 
violently compel her to sin against her duties as a mother,— these 
self-same men would exclude her from pursuits in which these obstacles 
and dangers are much slighter, and which are much better suited to her 
delicate frame. 

Among the learned men, who in Germany want to hear nothing of the 
admission of women to the higher studies, or who will yield only a 
qualified assent, and express themselves publicly on the subject are 
Prof. L. Bischoff, Dr. Ludwig Hirt, Prof. H. Sybel, L. von Buerenbach, 
Dr. E. Reich, and many others. Notedly has the livelier agitation, 
recently set on foot, for the admission of women to the Universities, 
incited a strong opposition against the plan in Germany. The opposition 
is mainly directed against woman's qualifications for the study of 
medicine. Among the opponents are found Pochhammer, Fehling, S. Binder, 
Waldeyer, Hegar, etc. Von Buerenbach is of the opinion that both the 
admission to and the fitness of woman for science can be disposed of 
with the argument that, until now, no genius has arisen among woman, and 
hence woman is manifestly unfit for philosophic studies. It seems the 
world has had quite enough of its male philosophers: it can, without 
injury to itself, well afford to dispense with female. Neither does the 
objection that the female sex has never yet produced a genius seem to us 
either to hold water, or to have the weight of a demonstration. Geniuses 
do not drop down from the skies; they must have opportunity to form and 
mature. This opportunity woman has lacked until now, as amply shown by 
our short historic sketch. For thousands of years she has been 
oppressed, and she has been deprived or stunted in the opportunity and 
possibility to unfold her mental faculties. It is as false to reason 
that the female sex is bereft of genius, by denying all spark of genius 
to the tolerably large number of great women, as it would be to maintain 
that there were no geniuses among the male sex other than the few who 
are considered such. Every village schoolmaster knows what a mass of 
aptitudes among his pupils never reach full growth, because the 
possibilities for their development are absent. Aye, there is not one, 
who, in his walk through life, has not become acquainted, some with 
more, others with fewer persons of whom it had to be said that, had they 
been able to mature under more favorable circumstances, they would have 
been ornaments to society, and men of genius. Unquestionably the number 
of men of talent and of genius is by far larger among the male sex than 
those that, until now, have been able to reveal themselves: social 
conditions did not allow the others to develop. Precisely so with the 
faculties of the female sex, a sex that for centuries has been held 

182 



under, hampered and crippled, far worse than any other subject beings. 
We have absolutely no measure to-day by which to gauge the fullness of 
mental powers and faculties that will develop among men and women so 
soon as they shall be able to unfold amid natural conditions. 

It is with mankind as in the vegetable kingdom. Millions of valuable 
seeds never reach development because the ground on which they fall is 
unfavorable, or is taken up by weeds that rob the young and better plant 
of ail', light and nourishment. The same laws of nature hold good in 
human life. If a gardener or planter sought to maintain with regard to a 
given plant that it could not grow, although he made no trial, perhaps 
even hindered its growth by wrong treatment, such a man would be 
pronounced a fool by all his intelligent neighbors. Nor would he fare 
any better if he declined to cross one of his female domestic animals 
with, a male of higher breed, to the end of producing a better animal. 

There is no peasant in Germany to-day so ignorant as not to understand 
the advantage of such treatment of his trees or animals— provided always 
his means allow him to introduce the better method. Only with regard to 
human beings do even men of learning deny the force of that which with 
regard to all other matters, they consider an established law. And yet 
every one, even without being a naturalist, can make instructive 
observations in life. Whence comes it that the children of peasants 
differ from city children? It comes from the difference in their 
conditions of life and education. 

The one-sidedness, inherent in the education for one calling, stamps man 
with a peculiar character. A clergyman or a schoolmaster is generally 
and easily recognized by his carriage and mien; likewise an officer, 
even when in Chilian dress. A shoe maker is easily told from a tailor, 
a joiner from a locksmith. Twin brothers, who closely resembled each 
other in youth, show in later years marked differences if their 
occupations are different, if one had hard manual work, for instance, as 
a smith, the other the study of philosophy for his duty. Heredity, on 
one side, adaptation on the other, play in the development of man, as 
well as of animals, a decisive role. Indeed, man is the most bending 
and pliable of all creatures. A few years of changed life and occupation 
often suffice to make quite a different being out of the same man. 
Nowhere does rapid external change show its elf more strikingly than when 
a person is transferred from poor and reduced, to materially improved 
circumstances. It is in his mental make-up that such a person will be 
least able to deny his antecedents, but that is [because of] the circumstance 
that, with most of such people, after they have reached a certain age, 
the desire for intellectual improvement is rarely felt; neither do they 
need it. Such an upstart rarely suffers under this defect. In our days, 
that look to money and material means, people are far readier to bow 
before the man with a large puise, than before a mail of knowledge and 

183 



great intellectual gifts, especially if he has the misfortune of being 
poor and rankless. Instances of this sort are furnished every day. The 
worship of the golden calf stood in no age higher than in this,— whence 
it comes that we are living "in the best possible world." 

The strongest evidence of the effect exercised upon man by radically 
different conditions of life is furnished in our several industrial 
centers. In these centers employer and employe present externally such a 
contrast as if they belonged to different races. Although accustomed to 
the contrast, it struck us almost with the shock of a surprise on the 
occasion of a campaign mass meeting, that we addressed in the winter of 
1877 in an industrial town of the Erzgebirge region. The meeting, at 
which a debate was to be held between a liberal professor and ourselves, 
was so arranged that both sides were equally represented. The front part 
of the hall was taken by our opponents,— almost without exception, 
healthy, strong, often large figures; in the rear of the hall and in the 
galleries stood workingmen and small tradesmen, nine-tenths of the 
former weavers,— mostly short, thin, shallow-chested, pale-faced 
figures, with whom worry and want looked out at every pore. One set 
represented the full-stomached virtue and solvent morality of bourgeois 
society; the other set, the working bees and beasts of burden, on the 
product of whose labor the gentlemen made so fine an appearance. Let 
both be placed for one generation under equally favorable conditions, 
and the contrast will vanish with most; it certainly is blotted out in 
their descendants. 

It is also evident that, in general, it is harder to determine the 
social standing of women than of men. Women adapt themselves more 
readily to new conditions; they acquire higher manners more quickly. 
Their power of accommodation is greater than that of more clumsy man. 

What to a plant are good soil, light and ah, are to man healthy social 
conditions, that allow him to unfold his powers. The well known saying: 
"Man is what he eats," expresses the same thought, although somewhat 
one-sidedly: The question is not merely what man eats; it embraces his 
whole social posture, the social atmosphere in which he moves, that 
promotes or stunts his physical and mental development, that affects, 
favorably or unfavorably, his sense of feeling, of thought, and of 
action. Every day we see people, situated in favorable material 
conditions, going physically and morally to wreck, simply because, 
beyond the narrower sphere of their own domestic or personal 
surroundings, unfavorable circumstances of a social nature operate upon 
them, and gain such overpowering ascendency that they switch them on 
wrong tracks. The general conditions under which a man lives are even 
of far greater importance than those of the home and the family. If the 
conditions for social development are equal to both sexes, if to neither 
there stand any obstacles in the way, and if the social state of society 

184 



is a healthy one, then woman also will rise to a point of perfection in 
her being, such as we can have no full conception of, such conditions 
haiing hitherto been absent in the history of the development of the 
race. That which some women are in the meantime achieving, leaves no 
doubt upon this head: these rise as high above the mass of their own sex 
as the male geniuses do above the mass of theirs. Measured with the 
scale usually applied to Princes, women have, on an average, displayed 
greater talent than men in the ruling of states. As illustrations, let 
Isabella and Blanche of Castile be quoted; Elizabeth of Hungary; 
Catharine Sforza, the Duchess of Milan and Imola; Elizabeth of England; 
Catharine of Russia; Maria Theresa, etc. Resting upon the fact that, in 
all races and all parts of the world, women have ruled with marked 
ability, even over the wildest and most turbulent hordes, Burbach makes 
the statement that, in all probability, women aie fitter for politics 
than men. 132 For the rest, many a great man in history would shrink 
considerably, were it only known what he owes to himself, and what to 
others. Count Mirabeau, for instance, is described by German historians, 
von Sybel among them, as one of the greatest lights of the French 
Revolution: and now research has revealed the fact that this light was 
indebted for the concept of almost all of his speeches to the ready help 
of certain scholars, who worked for him in secret, and whom he 
understood to utilize. On the other hand, apparitions like those of a 
Sappho, a Diotima of the days of Socrates, a Hypatia of Alexander, a 
Madame Roland, Madame de Stael, George Sand, etc., deserve the greatest 
respect, and eclipse many a male star. The effect of women as mothers of 
great men is also known. Woman has achieved all that was possible to her 
under the, to her, as a whole, most unfavorable circumstances; all of 
which justifies the best hopes for the future. As a matter of fact, only 
the second half of the nineteenth century began to smooth the way for 
the admission of women in large numbers to the race with men on various 
fields; and quite satisfactory are the results attained. 

But suppose that, on an average, women are not as capable of higher 
development as men, that they cannot grow into geniuses and great 
philosophers, was this a criterion for men when, at least according to 
the letter of the law, they were placed on a footing of equality with 
"geniuses" and "philosophers?" The identical men of learning, who deny 
higher aptitudes to woman, are quite inclined to do the same to artisans 
and workingmen. When the nobility appeals to its "blue" blood and to 
its genealogical tree, these men of learning laugh in derision and shrug 
their shoulders; but as against the man of lower rank, they consider 
themselves an aristocracy, that owes what it is, not to more favorable 
conditions of life, but to its own talent alone. The same men who, on 
one field, are among the freest from prejudice, and who hold him lightly 
who does not think as liberally as themselves, are, on another 
field,— the moment the interests of their rank and class, or their 
vanity and self-esteem are concerned— found narrow to the point of 

185 



stupidity, and hostile to the point of fanaticism. The men of the upper 
classes look down upon the lower; and so does almost the whole sex upon 
woman. The majority of men see in woman only an article of profit and 
pleasure; to acknowledge her an equal runs against the grain of their 
prejudices:— woman must be humble and modest; she must confine herself 
exclusively to the house and leave all else to the men, the "lords of 
creation," as their domain: woman must, to the utmost, bridle her own 
thoughts and inclinations, and quietly accept what her Providence on 
earth— father or husband— decrees. The nearer she approaches this 
standard, all the more is she praised as "sensible, modest and 
virtuous," even though, as the result of such constraint, she break down 
under the burden of physical and moral suffering. What absurdity is it 
not to speak of the "equality of all" and yet seek to keep one-half of 
the human race outside of the pale! 

Woman has the same right as man to unfold her faculties and to the free 
exercise of the same: she is human as well as he: like him, she should 
be free to dispose of herself as her own master. The accident of being 
born a woman, makes no difference. To exclude woman from equality on the 
ground that she was born female and not male— an accident for which man 
is as little responsible as she— is as inequitable, as would be to make 
rights and privileges dependent upon the accident of religion or 
political bias; and as senseless as that two human beings must look upon 
each other as enemies on the ground that the accident of birth makes 
them of different stock and nationality. Such views are unworthy of a 
truly free being. The progress of humanity lies in removing everything 
that holds one being, one class, one sex, in dependence and in 
subjection to another. No inequality is justified other than that wliich 
nature itself establishes in the differences between one individual and 
another, and for the fulfillment of the purpose of nature. The natural 
boundaiies no sex can overstep: it would thereby destroy its own natural 
puipose. 

The adversaries of full equality for woman play as their trump card the 
claim that woman has a smaller brain than man, and that in other 
qualities, besides, she is behind man, hence her permanent inferiority 
(subordination) is demonstrated. It is certain that man and woman are 
beings of different sexes; that they are furnished with different 
organs, corresponding to the sex purpose of each; and that, owing to the 
functions that each sex must fill to accomplish the purpose of nature, 
there are a series of other differences in their' physiologic and psychic 
conditions. These are facts that none can deny and none will deny; 
nevertheless, they justify no distinction in the social and political 
rights of man and woman. The human race, society, consists of both 
sexes; both are indispensable to its existence and progress. Even the 
greatest male genius was born of a mother, to whom frequently he is 
indebted for the best part of himself. By what right can woman be 

186 



refused equality with mail? 

Based upon information furnished us by a medical friend, we shall here 
sketch with a few strokes the essential differences, that, according to 
leading authorities, manifest themselves in the physical and mental 
qualities of man and woman. The bodily size of man and woman stands, on 
an average, in the relation of 100 to 93.2. The bones of woman are 
shorter and thinner, the chest smaller, wider, deeper and flatter. Other 
differences depend directly upon the sex purpose. The muscles of woman 
are not as massive. The weight of the heart is 310 grains in man, 255 in 
woman. 

The composition of the blood in man and woman is as follows: Water, man, 
77.19; woman, 79.11. Solid matter, man, 22.10; woman, 20.89. Blood 
corpuscles, man, 14.10; woman, 12.79. Number of blood corpuscles in a 
cubic millimeter of blood, man, 4 1/2 to 5 millions; woman, 4 to 4 1/2 
millions. According to Meynert, the weight of the brain of man is from 
1,018 to 1,925 grams; of woman, from 820 to 1,565; or in the relation of 
100 to 90.93. LeBon and Bischoff agree that, while weight of brain 
corresponds with size of body, nevertheless short people have relatively 
larger brains. With woman, the smaller size of the heart, the narrower 
system of blood vessels and probably also the larger quantity of blood, 
has a lower degree of nourishment for its effect. 133 That, however, 
the larger skulls of larger persons, coupled with the quantitative 
changes occasioned by the size of the skull promote the vigor of the 
several sections of the brain is a matter that caimot be 
asserted. 134. 

Of 107 mentally healthy men and 148 women of the ages of 20 to 59, the 
weight of the brain per thousand was: 

Average 
Medulla. Lengtb in 

Sex. Oblongata. Cerebellum. Pons. Centimeters. 

Men 700 107.5 102 166.5 

Women 787 HO.O 103 1S6.0 

The absolute and relative excess in the weight of the cerebellum of 
woman has an enormous significance. With animals that rim immediately 
upon birth, the cerebellum is much more powerfully developed than with 
animals that are born blind, are helpless, and that learn to w r alk with 
difficulty. Accordingly, and in consequence of its connection with the 
cerebrum, subcortical center and the spinal cord, the cerebellum is a 
station of the muscular and of the chief nervous system, by means of 
both of which qualities w r e keep our equilibrium. The more massive 
cerebellum with woman, together with the comparative shortness and 
tenderness of her bones, explains her comparative quickness and easiness 
of motion, her quicker and higher co-ordination of the muscles for their 



187 



functions, and her knack of quickly sizing up a situation, and finding 
her way in the midst of a confusion of associations. Woman is 
furthermore aided in the latter faculty through the greater excitability 
of her cerebral cortex. Meynert says:— 

1 . All structural anomalies associated with anaemia of the 
blood— including also a small heart and narrow arteries— should be 
considered as subject structural defects. Upon this depends not only the 
ready exhaustibility of the cortex, but also the phenomena of 
irritability, named by Meynert, localized irritable weakness. 

2. The branches of blood vessels, supplying the subcortical centers from 
the base, are short, thick, straight, palisade-like, while those on the 
surface of the brain, supplying the cortex, run in long tortuous lines. 
And it is because of that, since with the increased length of the blood 
vessels the resistance to the propulsive force of the heart is 
increased, that the subcortical centers, the moment fatigue supervenes, 
are better supplied with blood than the cortex, they are less readily 
fatigued than the more readily exhaustible cerebrum. 

3. Because of this and because of the more watery character of woman's 
blood and great extent of subcortical centers in woman in comparison 
with cerebrum, the physical equilibrium of woman is more unstable than 
of man. 

4. All nerves (except the optic and olfactory, which spread out directly 
in the cortex, save some of their filaments terminating in the 
subcortical centers) terminate in the subcortical center; the cortex of 
the cerebrum acts as a checking organ for the subcortical center; as the 
cerebral cortex in woman, as already stated, is at a disadvantage not 
only from the anatomical standpoint, but also in the quality of its 
blood supply, woman is not only more easily fatigued, but also more 
readily excitable (irritable, nervous) . 

These facts explain, on the one hand, what is called the superior 
endowment of woman, and, on the other, her inclination to sudden changes 
of opinion, as well as to hallucinations and illusions. This state of 
unstable equilibrium between the duia mater and the pons becomes 
particularly normal during menstruation, pregnancy, lying-in, and at her 
climacteric. As a result of her physical organization, woman is more 
inclined to melancholy than man, and likewise is the inclination to 
mental derangement stronger with her; on the other hand, the male sex 
excels her in the number of cases of megalomania. 

Such, in substance, is the information furnished us by the authority 
whom we have been quoting. 



188 



As a matter of course, in so far as the cited differences depend upon 
the nature of the sex-distinctions, they can not be changed; in how far 
these differences in the make-up of the blood and the brain may be 
modified by a change of life (nourishment, mental and physical 
gymnastics, occupation, etc.) is a matter that, for the present, lies 
beyond all accurate calculation. But this seems certain: modern woman 
differs more maikedly from man tlian primitive woman, or than the women 
of backwaid peoples, and the circumstance is easily explained by the 
social development that the last 1,000 or 1,500 years forced upon woman 
among the nations of chilization. 

According to Lombroso and Ferrero, the mean capacity of the female 
skull, the male skull being assumed at 1,000, is as follows:— 

Negro 984 Slav 803 

Australian ©67 Gipsy 876 

Hindoo 944 Chinese 870 

Italian 921 German 838 897 

Hollander 919 (Tiedemann) Englishman 860 

Hollander. , . . , .883 (Davis) Parisian 858 

The contradictory findings for Hollanders and Germans show that the 
measurements were made on very different quantitative and qualitative 
materials, and, consequently, are not absolutely reliable. One thing, 
however, is evident from the figures: Negro, Australian and Hind[u] women 
have a considerably larger brain capacity than their German, English and 
Parisian sisters, and yet the latter are all more intelligent. The 
comparisons established in the weight of the brain of deceased men of 
note, reveal similar contradictions and peculiarities. According to 
Prof. Reclam, the brain of the naturalist Cuvier weighed 1,861 grams, of 
Byron 1,807, of the mathematician Dirichlet 1,520, of the celebrated 
mathematician Gauss 1,492, of the philologist Hermann 1,358, of the 
scientist Hausmann 1,226. The last of these had a brain below the 
average weight of that of women, which, according to Bischoff, weighs 
1,250 grams. But a special irony of fate wills it that the brain of 
Prof. Bischoff himself, who died a few years ago in St. Petersburg, 
weighed only 1,245 grams, and Bischoff it was who most obstinately 
grounded his claim of woman's inferiority on the fact that woman, on the 
average, had 100 grams less brain than man. The brain of Gambetta also 
weighed considerably below the average female brain, it weighed only 
1,180 grams, and Dante, too, is said to have had a brain below the 
average weight for men. Figures of the same sort are found in Dr. 
Havelock Ellis' work. According thereto, an eveiy day person, whose 
brain Bischoff weighed, had 2,222 grams; the poet Turgeniew 2,012; while 
the third heaviest brain on the list belonged to an idiot of the duchy 
of Hants. The brain of a common workingman, also examined by Bischoff, 
weighed 1,925 grams. The heaviest woman's brains weighed 1,742 and 1,580 
grams, two of which were of insane women. 



189 



The conclusion is, accordingly, justified that as little as size of body 
justifies inferences as to strength of body, so little does the weight 
of the brain-mass warrant inferences as to mental powers. There are very 
small animals (ants, bees) that, in point of intelligence, greatly excel 
much larger ones (sheep, cows), just as men of large body are often 
found far behind others of smaller or unimposing stature. Accordingly, 
the important factor is not merely the quantity of brain matter, but 
more especially the brain organization, and, not least of all, the 
exercise and use of the brain power. 

The brain, if it is to fully develop its powers, must be diligently 
exercised, the same as any other organ, and also correspondingly fed. 
Where this is not done, or where the training is turned into wrong 
channels, instead of the sections of the understanding being developed, 
those are developed in which imagination has its seat. In such cases, 
not only is the organ stunted, but even crippled. One section is 
developed at the expense of another. 

No one, approximately familiar with the history of the development of 
woman, will deny that, for thousands of years, woman has been and 
continues to be sinned against in that direction. When Prof. Bischoff 
objects that woman could have trained her brain and intelligence as well 
as man did, he reveals unpardonable and unheard of ignorance on the 
subject. The sketch, drawn in this work, of the position of woman in the 
course of the progress of civilization, explains fully how the thousands 
of years of continued male supremacy over woman are mainly responsible 
for the great differences in the mental and physical development of the 
two sexes. 

Our naturalists should recognize that the laws of their science are 
applicable to man also, and to his evolution. The laws of evolution, of 
heredity, of adaptation, hold good with human beings as with all other 
creatures of nature. Seeing that man is no exception in nature, the law 
of evolution must be applied to him also: forthwith light is shed upon 
what otherwise remains confused and dark, and, as such, becomes the fit 
subject for scientific mysticism, or mystic science. 

The training of the brain took its course with the different sexes 
wholly in conformity with the difference in the education of the two— if 
such a term as "education" is at all allowable, with regard to woman in 
particular, during long stretches of the past, and the term "bringing 
up" is not the correcter. Physiologists are agreed that the organs of 
thought are located in the front part of the brain, and those especially 
of feeling and sentiment are to be looked for in the middle of the head. 
With man the front, with woman the middle of the head is more developed. 
The ideal of beauty, male and female, shaped itself accordingly 
According to the Greek ideal, which is standard to this day, woman has 

190 



a narrow, man a high and, particulaiiy, broad forehead— and this ideal 
an expression of their own degradation, is so stamped on their minds, 
that our women bewail a forehead that exceeds the average, as a 
deformity in their appearance, and seek to improve nature by ait, 
drawing their hair over the sinning forehead, to make it look lower. 

In a polemic in Nos. 39 and 40 of the "Sozialdemokrat" for 1890, which 
appeared in London, Sophie Nadejde had two articles in which she sought 
to refute the charges concerning the great inferiority of woman. She 
says therein that Broca, a well known Parisian physiologist, measured 
the cubic contents of 1 15 skulls from the eleventh and twelfth 
centimes, and got an average of 1,426 cubic centimeters. The 
measurements of 1 25 skulls from the eighteenth century gave, however, an 
average of 1,462 cubic centimeters. According to this, the conclusion 
would be that, in the course of a few centuries, the brain had grown 
considerably. A measurement by Broca of skulls from the Stone Age 
resulted, however, in an average of 1,606 cubic centimeters for the 
skulls of men, and 1,581 for the skulls of women,— accordingly, both 
considerably larger than those of the eleventh, twelfth and eighteenth 
centuries. Mrs. Nadejde concluded therefrom that Herbert Spencer was 
right when he claimed in his physiology that brain weight depended upon 
the amount of motion and the variety of motions. 

The lady furthermore emphasized the point that it depends a deal less on 
the brain-mass than on the proportion in the two sexes of the 
brain-weight to the weight of the body. Proceeding from these premises, 
it appeared that the female brain was heavier than the male. The 
argument on this head, Mrs. Nadejde presents in these words: 

"Let us compare the average weights of the bodies, and let us take, as 
the difference between man and woman only 8 kilograms, although many 
naturalists, among them Gay, whom Delaimay quotes, takes 11 kilograms. 
According to the average weights of 9,157 American soldiers: 64.4 
kilograms (average weight of the male body) : 56 kilograms (average 
weight of the female body) = 1,141 or 1.14, i.e., the average weight of 
woman being taken as 100, that of man is represented by 1 14. According 
to the average weights of 12,740 Bavarians: 65.5 kilograms (average for 
males): 57.5 (average for females) = 1,139 or 1.14 as above. Assuming 
the average weight of woman as 100, that of man is found to be 114. 
According to the average weights of 617 Englishmen, 68.8 (average for 
males): 60.8 (average for females) = 1,131, or 1.13; the average weight 
of woman being assumed as 100, that of man is found to be 1 13. 135 

"Accordingly, it appears that, under otherwise equal conditions, women 
have 1/4 per cent, of brain-mass in excess of men. That is to say, for 
every 100 grams of female brain-mass, men should have 113 or 114 grams; 
in reality, however, they only have from 1 10 to 112 grams. The fact can 

191 



be put still more plastically: According to this calculation, the male 
brain falls short 25 to 51 grains of brain-mass. im 

"But L. Manouvrier proves more. He says: 13 ' 'The influence of the 
weight of the body strikes the eye when we note the figures among the 
vertebrates. The influence is equally manifest with man, and it is a 
wonder how so many naturalists have not yet recognized this truth, even 
after it was illustrated and treated by others. 

'"There are a number of facts that prove the influence of the size of 
the body upon the weight of the brain. The lower races and of high 
stature, not only have a larger average weight of brain than the 
European, but also is the number of large brains greater with them. We 
must not imagine that the intelligence of a race is determined by the 
number of large brains: the Patagonians, Polynesians and Indians of 
North America (and according to the figures given above the people of 
the Stone Age may be added) greatly surpass us Parisians and all races 
of Europe, not only in the number of large brains, but also in the large 
average capacity of the skull. 

'"The influence of the weight of the body upon the size of the brain is 
confirmed by the fact that the small skull capacities are found among 
races of slight stature, like the Bushmen, the An damans, and the Hind[u] 
pariahs.' 

"All scientists who have treated the brain question in a really 
scientific manner, have expressed themselves with greatest caution on 
the difference shown by the two sexes. Other writers, on the contrary, 
especially during the last years, have treated the question with such 
levity, that it has been compromised in the public esteem. If there be 
any intellectual difference between man and woman, it must, at any rate, 
be veiy slight, a physiologist like Stuart Mill having declared that he 
failed to find the difference. Size of body, strength of muscle, 
mass— all of these present decided differences, [because of] these differences 
woman has been termed the defective sex; and authors who were not able 
to understand these manifest differences, presumed to establish a 
physiologic difference; to solve a much more difficult and complex 
question, they raised their voices in praise of their own sex! 

"It follows that the difference between the sexes in point of weight of 
brain and capacity of skull, considered scientifically, can not be 
scored to the disadvantage of woman. All the facts point to the 
conclusion that the difference depends upon the weight of the body. 
There is no anatomical reason to represent woman as a backward and, in 
point of intelligence, subordinate being, compared with man. I shall 
presently prove this. 



192 



"The proportion between the weight of the brain and the height of the 
body is smaller with the female than with the male sex. 138 But the 
fact is easily explained. The height of the body does not actually 
express the development, or, rather, the weight of the body. 

"But when we compare the proportion of the brain-weights we find that 
women have more brain than men, in childhood as well as throughout life. 
The difference is not great, but it would be much more considerable, if 
we did not include in the weight of the body the fat, which is present 
in much larger quantity with women, and which, as an inert (inactive) 
mass, has no influence whatever upon the weight of the brain." 

Later, in 1 883, L. Manouvrier published in the seventh number of the 
"Revue Scientifique" the following results of his investigations:— 

"If we designate with 1 00 each the weight of the brain, thighbone, 
skull, and lower jawbone, we find the following weights for woman:— 

Brain 88.9 

Skull . 85.8 

Lower jawbone 78.7 

Thighbone G&J5 

"It is, furthermore, an established fact that the weight of the skeleton 
(without skull) differs as with the thighbone. Hence we may compare the 
weight of the brain with that of the thighbone. It follows from the 
figures given above, that women have, relatively, 26.4 per cent, more 
brain-mass. 

"Let us express the figures herein given somewhat more plastically. 

"If a man has 100 grams of brain-mass, woman should have, instead of 
100, only 62.5 grams; but she has 88.9 grams,— an excess of 26.4 grams. 
It follows that if we accept 1,410 grams (according to Wagner) as the 
average weight of the male brain, the female brain should weigh only 
961.25 grams, instead of 1,262: woman, accordingly, has 301.75 grams 
more brain-mass than the proportion demands. If we take the figures of 
Huschel we find an excess of 372 grams; finally, the figures of Broca 
give us an excess of 383 grams. Under otherwise equal conditions woman 
has between 300 and 400 grains more brain-mass than man." 

Although it is by no means proven that, by reason of their brain-mass, 
women are inferior to men, it is no cause for wonder that, women are 
mentally such as we know them to-day. Darwin is certainly right when he 
says that a list of the most distinguished men in poetiy, painting, 
sculpture, music, science and philosophy side by side with a similar 
list of the most distinguished women on the same fields will not bear 
comparison with each other. But are we to wonder at that? Wonderful 



193 



were it if it were otherwise. For that reason Dr. Dodel-Zurich 139 
says with perfect right that matters would stand otherwise if through a 
number of generations women and men were educated equally, and trained 
in the exercise of those arts and of mental discipline. On an average, 
woman is also weaker than man, which is by no means the case with many 
wild peoples." What exercise and training from early youth are able 
to change in this matter, we may see in the circus women and female 
acrobats, who in courage, foolhardiness, dexterity and physical strength 
achieve marvelous feats. 

Seeing that such a development is a matter of the conditions of life and 
education— or, to express it in the naked language of science, of 
"breeding"— it may be taken for certain that the application of these 
laws to the physical and mental life of man would lead to the most 
brilliant results, the moment mail sets liis hand to the work with Rill 
consciousness ofliis object and lus aim. 

As plants and animals depend upon the conditions for existence that they 
live under— promoted by favorable, checked by unfavorable ones— and as 
forcible conditions compel them to change their appearance and 
character, provided such conditions are not unfavorable enough to 
destroy them wholly, so it is with man. The manner in which a person 
makes his living influences not his external appearance only, it 
influences also his feelings, his thoughts and his actions. 141 If, 
accordingly, man's unfavorable conditions of life— defective social 
conditions— are the cause of defective individual development, it 
follows that by changing lus condition of life, man is liimself 
changed. The question, therefore, is so to change the social conditions 
that every human being shall be afforded the possibility for the full 
and unhampered development of his being; that the laws of evolution and 
adaptation, designated after Darwin as "Darwinian," be consciously 
rendered effective to humanity. But this is possible only under 
Socialism. 

As a thinking and intelligent being, man must constantly, and conscious 
of lus puipose, change, improve and perfect lus social conditions, 
together with all that tliereby hangs; and he must so proceed in this 
that equally favorable opportuiuties be open to all. Every individual 
must be placed in a position to be able to develop his abilities and 
faculties to his own as well as to the advantage of the collectivity; 
but his may not be the power to injure either others or the 
collectivity. His own and the advantage of others must be mutual. 
Hainiony of interests must be brought about; it must substitute the 
existing coiulict of interests to the end that not even the thought 
may be conceived of ruling and injuring others. 

Darwinism, as all genuine science, is eminently democratic. 142 If any 

194 



of its advocates holds a contrary view, he only proves himself unable to 
grasp its range. Its opponents, particularly the reverend clergy, who 
ever display a fine nose, the moment earthly benefits or injuries are 
imminent, have understood this well, and, consequently denounce 
Darwinism as Socialistic and Anarchistic. Also Prof. Virchow agrees with 
his sworn enemies in this. In 1877, at the convention of naturalists in 
Munich, he played the following trump declaration against Prof. 
Haeckel: 143 "The Darwinian theory leads to Socialism." Virchow sought 
to discredit Darwinism and to denounce it because Haeckel demanded the 
adoption of the theory of evolution in the schools. To teach natural 
science in our schools in the sense of Darwin and of recent 
investigations, that is an idea against which are up in arms all those 
who wish to cling to the present order of things. The revolutionary 
effect of these theories is known, hence the demand that they be taught 
only in the circles of the select. We, however, are of the opinion that 
if, as Virchow claims, the Darwinian theories lead to Socialism, the 
circumstance is not an argument against Darwin's theories, but in favor 
of Socialism. Never may a scientist inquire whether the conclusions from 
his science lead to this or that political system, to this or that 
social system, nor seek to justify the same. His is the duty to inquire 
whether the theory is right. If it is that, then it must be accepted 
along with all its consequences. He who acts otherwise, be it out of 
personal interest, be it out of a desire to curry favor from above, or 
be it out of class and party interests, is guilty of a contemptible 
act, and is no honor to science. Science as a guild so very much at 
home in our Universities, can only in rare instances lay claim to 
independence and character. The fear of losing their stipends, of 
forfeiting the favor of the ruler, of having to renounce titles, 
decorations and promotions cause most of the representatives of science 
to duck, to conceal their own convictions, or even to utter in public 
the reverse of what they believe and know. If, on the occasion of the 
festival of declaration of allegiance at the Berlin University, in 1870, 
a Dubois-Reymond exclaimed: "The Universities are the training places 
for the life-guards of the Hohenzollern," one may judge how the majority 
of the others, who stand both in knowledge and importance far below 
Dubois-Reymond,"* think regarding the purpose of science. Science is 
degraded to a maid-servant of the ruling powers. 

We can understand how Prof. Haeckel and his disciples, such as Prof. O. 
Schmidt, v. Hellwald and others, defend themselves energetically against 
the charge that Darwinism plays into the hands of Socialism; and that 
they, in turn, maintain the contrary to be true: that Darwinism is 
aristocratic in that it teaches that everywhere in nature the more 
highly developed and stronger organism dominates the lower. Seeing that, 
according to these gentlemen, the property and cultured classes 
represent these more highly developed and stronger organisms in society, 
they look upon the domination of these as a matter of course, being 

195 



justified by nature. 

This wing among our Darwinians has not the faintest notion of the 
economic laws that sway capitalist society, whose blind will raises, 
without selecting either the best, or the ablest, or the most thorough, 
often the most scampish and corrupt; places him on top; and thus puts 
him in a position to make the conditions of life and development most 
favorable for his descendants, without these having as much as to turn 
their hands. Striking an average, under no economic system is the 
prospect poorer than under capitalism for individuals animated with good 
and noble qualities, to rise and remain above; and it may be added 
without exaggeration that the prospect grows darker in the measure that 
this economic system approaches its apogee. Recklessness and 
unscrupulousness in the choice and application of the means, are weapons 
infinitely more effective and promiseful of success than all human 
virtues put together. To consider a social system, built upon such a 
basis, a system of the "fittest and best" is a feat that only he can be 
capable of whose knowledge of the essence and nature of such a society 
equals zero; or who, swayed by dyed-in-the-wool bourgeois prejudices, 
has lost all power to think on the subject and to draw his conclusions. 
The struggle for existence is found with all organisms. Without a 
knowledge of the circumstances that force them thereto, the struggle is 
carried on unconsciously. Such a struggle for existence is found among 
men also, within all social systems in which the sense of solidarity has 
vanished, or has not yet come to the surface. This struggle changes 
according to the forms that the social relations of man to man assume in 
the course of social evolution. In the course of this evolution it takes 
on the form of a class struggle that is carried on upon an ever higher 
plane. But these struggles lead— and in this human beings differ from 
all other creatures— to an ever clearer understanding of the situation, 
and finally to the recognition of the law r s that govern and control 
their evolution. Man has in the end but to apply tliis knowledge to liis 
social and political development, and to adapt the latter accordingly. 
The difference between man and the brute is that man may be called a 
dunking animal, the brute, however, is no thinking man. It is this 
that a large portion of our Darwinians can not, in their one-sidedness, 
understand. Hence the vicious circle in which they move. 

A w r ork from the pen of Prof. Enrico Ferri 115 proves, especially as 
against Haeckel, that Darwinism and Socialism are in perfect harmony, 
and that it is a fundamental error on the part of Haeckel to 
characterize, as he has done down to latest date, Darwinism as 
aristocratic. We are not at all points agreed with Ferri's w r ork, and 
especially do we not share his views with regard to the qualities of 
woman, a matter in which he is substantially at one with Lombroso and 
Ferrer o. Ellis has shown in his "Man and Woman" that wiiile the qualities 
of man and woman are very different, still they are of equal value,— a 

196 



confirmation of the Kantian sentence that man and woman only together 
constitute the human being. This notwithstanding, the work of Ferri 
comes quite apropos. 

Professor Haeckel and his followers, of course, also combat the claim 
that Darwinism leads to atheism, and we find them, after themselves 
having removed the Creator by all their scientific arguments and proofs, 
making hysterical efforts to smuggle him in again by the back door. To 
this particular end, they construct their own style of "Religion," which 
is then called "higher morality," "moral principles," etc. In 1882, at 
the convention of naturalists at Eisenach, and in the presence of the 
family of the Grand Duke of Weimar, Prof. Haeckel made the attempt not 
only to "save religion," but also to represent his master Darwin as 
"religious." The effort suffered shipwreck, as all will admit who read 
the essay and the letter of Darwin therein quoted. Darwin's letter 
expressed the reverse of that which Prof. Haeckel sought to make out, 
although in cautious words. Darwin was constrained to consider the 
"religious sentiments" of his countrymen, the English, hence he never 
dared to express his opinion openly upon religion. Privately, however, 
he did so to Dr. L. Buechner, as became known shortly after the Weimar 
convention, whom he frankly informed that since Ms fortieth 
year— that is to say, since 1849— he believed notliing; not haling been 
able to End any proof for liis belief. During the last years of his 
life Darwin supported an atheist paper published in New York. 

Woman is to take up the competitive struggle with man on the 
intellectual field also. She does not propose to wait till it please man 
to develop her brain functions and to clear the way for her. The 
movement is well under way. Already has woman brushed aside many an 
obstacle, and stepped upon the intellectual arena,— and quite 
successfully in more countries than one. The movement, ever more 
noticeable, among women for admission to the Universities and High 
Schools, as well as for admission to the functions that correspond to 
these studies, is, in the very nature of existing conditions, confined 
to the women of the bourgeois circles. The circles of the working-women 
are not directly interested therein: to them, these studies, together 
with the posts attainable through them, are shut off. Nevertheless, the 
movement and its success are of general interest, partly, because the 
matter concerns a question of principle, affecting the position in 
general of woman towards man, partly also because it will show what 
woman is capable of achieving, even now, under conditions highly 
unfavorable to her development. Finally, the female sex has a special 
interest herein, in cases of sickness, for instance, when they may 
confide their ailments more freely to a physician of their own than to 
one of the opposite sex. To a large number of women, female 
practitioners, are a positive benefit. The necessity of having to resort 
to male doctors in cases of illness, generally connected with physical 

197 



disturbances that flow from their sex peculiarities, frequently deters 
women from seeking timely aid, or any aid at all. Hence arise a number 
of troubles, not infrequently serious ones, not to the wives alone, but 
to their husbands as well. There is hardly a physician who has no cause 
to complain of this frequently criminal diffidence on the part of women, 
and their objection to state their complaint freely. All this is easy to 
understand; irrational, however, is the posture of the men, and of 
several physicians among them, who will not admit the justice and 
necessity of the study of medicine, in particular, by women. 

Female doctors are no new sight. Among most of the ancient peoples, the 
old Germans in particular, it was upon woman that the healing cares 
devolved. There were female physicians and operators of great repute 
during the ninth and tenth centuries in the Arabian Kingdom, 
particularly among the Arabians (Moors) in Spain, where they studied at 
the University of Cordova. The pursuit by women of scientific studies at 
several Italian Universities— Bologna and Palermo, for instance,— was 
likewise [because of] Moorish influence. Later, when the "heathen" influence 
vanished from Italy, the practice was forbidden. In 1377 the faculty of 
the University of Bologna decreed: 

"And whereas woman is the fountain of sin, the weapon of the devil, the 
cause of man's banishment from Paradise and the ruin of the old laws; 
and whereas for these reasons all intercourse with her is to be 
diligently avoided; therefore do we interdict and expressly forbid that 
any one presume to introduce in the said college any woman whatsoever, 
however honorable she be. And if, this notwithstanding, any one should 
perpetrate such an act, he shall be severely punished by the Rector." 

Indeed, down to this day, Christian clergymen, of both Protestant and 
Catholic confession, are among the most zealous enemies of the pursuit 
of scientific studies by woman. The fact was shown in the debates of the 
German Reichstag on the admission of women to the study of medicine; it 
is furthermore shown by the reports of the Evangelical convention, held 
in the spring of 1894 in [Frankfurt am Main], where clerical 
mouth-pieces protested sharply against allowing women equal rights in 
the discussions of the convention. 

The admission of women to the pursuit of University professions has, 
above all, the result of exercising a beneficent influence upon the 
industry of the male youth. As admitted from different quarters, the 
ambition of the male students leaves much to be wished for. That alone 
were a great gain. Their morals also would be greatly improved: the 
inclination to drunkenness and brawling, as well as habitual 
dissipations in taverns, so common among our students, would receive a 
severe blow: the institutions whence mainly proceed our political 
pilots, judges, district attorneys, higher police officers, clergymen 

198 



and members of legislatures would acquire a tone better in keeping with 
the purpose for which these institutions are established and supported. 
According to the unanimous opinion of impartial people, qualified to 
judge, an improvement in this tone is a crying need of the horn - . 

The number of the countries that admit women to the Universities and 
High Schools has been greatly on the increase during the last twenty 
years; nor can any country, that lays claim to being a member of 
civilization, shut its ears in the long run to the demand. Ahead of all 
went the United States; Russia followed— two political systems that 
present in all respects the strongest contrasts; that notwithstanding, 
both were guided by the identical views with regard to the equal rights 
of woman. In the North American Union, women are to-day admitted in all 
the states to University studies,— in Utah since 1850, Iowa since 1860, 
Kansas since 1866, Wisconsin since 1868, Minnesota since 1869, 
California and Missouri since 1870, Ohio, Illinois and Nebraska since 
1871; since then all the other states followed in rapid succession. In 
keeping with the extension of female studies, woman conquered her place 
in the United States. According to the census of 1890, there were in the 
country 2,348 female physicians and surgeons, 2,136 female architects, 
580 female journalists, 300 female writers, 165 female ministers, 110 
female lawyers. 1 * 

In Europe, Switzerland, principally, opened its Universities to women. 
There the number of female students grew, since 1887, as follows :— 

Total Female 

T«r. Students. Students. 

1887 2,229 167 

1888 2,33© 206 

1889 2,412 196 

1890 2,652 248 

1891 2,889 297 

1892 3,076 318 

1893 3,307 461 

1893-94 ( Winter course ) 3,609 699 

Accordingly, the participation of women in University studies increased 
considerably in the interval between 1887-1894. In 1887 the number of 
female students was 7.5 per cent, of the total number of students; in 
1893-1894, however, it had risen to 16.6 per cent. In 1887, there were, 
among 744 medical students, 79 women, or 10.6 per cent.; in the winter 
course of 1893-1894, there w r ere, of 1,073 medical students, 210 women, 
or 19.6 per cent. In the department of philosophy, in 1887, there w r ere, 
of 530 students, 41 women, or 7.8 per cent.; in 1893-1894, there w r ere, 
of 1,640 students, 381 women, or 23.2 per cent. The large majority of 
the female students in Switzerland are foreigners, among them many 
Germans, whose number increases almost yearly. The example of 
Switzerland w r as followed in the early seventies by Sw r eden; in 1874 by 
England, in so far as medical colleges for women have been established. 



199 



Nevertheless, it was not until 1881 that Oxford, and 1884 that Cambridge 
decided to admit female students. Italy followed in 1876, then Norway, 
Belgium, France and Austria. In Paris, during 1891, there were 232 
female students, mostly of medicine. Of these female students, 103 were 
Russian, 18 French, 6 English, 3 Roumanian, 2 Turk, and 1 each from 
America, Greece and Servia. In the department of philosophy there were 
82 French female students and 15 foreigners matriculated. 

As it will have been noticed, even Turkey is represented among the 
female students. There, more than anywhere else, are female physicians 
needed, [because of] the position that custom and religion assign to woman as 
against man. The same reason caused Austria also to open Universities to 
female students, in order that the Mohammedan women of Bosnia and 
Herzegovina might enjoy medical attendance. Even Germany, whose 
"pig-tail" was thickest, i.e., where the disfavor towards admitting 
women to the Universities was most bitter, has been compelled to fall in 
line with progress. In the spring of 1894, the first female student 
passed her examination in Heidelberg for the degree of Doctor of 
Philosophy, and a second one in the fall of the same year in Goettingen. 
In Karlsruhe and Berlin, High Schools were established to prepare women 
for the Universities; finally in the summer of 1894, the Prussian 
Minister of Public Worship issued regulations for the remodelling of the 
higher instruction of girls, looking for their preparation for the study 
of medicine. Also India has furnished a small contingent of female 
students. Obviously, there is progress everywhere. 

All medical authorities are agreed that women render the best service as 
nurses of the sick, aye, that they positively can not be got along 
without. In an address, delivered by Prof. Ziemssen a few years ago, he 
said: 

"Above all, see to it, gentlemen, in your practice that you have 
thorough, well trained, kind-hearted, characterful female muses. 
Without them, all your sacrifices of time and effort are idle." 

In the September, 1892, issue of the "German Review", Prof. Virchowthus 
expressed himself in favor of female nurses: 

"That the post of real responsibility at the sick-bed shall fall to 
woman is, in my opinion, a principle that should be enforced in all our 
hospitals. In the hands of a cultivated, womanly, trained person the 
care of even a sick man is safer than in those of a man." 

If woman is fit for the extraordinarily difficult service of nurse, a 
service that places a heavy strain upon patience and self-sacrifice, why 
should she not be also fit for a physician? 



200 



Above all, the idea must be resisted that women shall be educated for 
physicians by separate courses of study, i.e., separated from the male 
students,— a plan that Frau Mathilde Weber of Tuebingen has declared 
herself satisfied with."' If the purpose be to degrade the female 
physicians, from the start, to the level of physicians of second or 
third rank, and to lower them in the eyes of their male colleagues, 
then, indeed, that is the best method. If it is no violation of "ethics" 
and "morality" that female nurses assist in the presence of male 
physicians at the performance of all possible operations upon male and 
female subjects, and on such occasions render most useful service; if it 
is "ethically" and "morally" permissible that dozens of young men, as 
students and for the sake of their studies, stand as observers at the 
bed of a woman in travail, or assist at the performance of operations on 
female patients, then it is absurd and laughable to deny such rights to 
female students. 

Such prudery in natural things is the rage, particularly in Germany, 
this big children's play-room. The English, discredited by reason of the 
same qualities, may, nevertheless, be our teachers in the treatment of 
natural things. 

In this direction, it is the United States, in particular, that furnish 
the example most worthy of imitation. There, and to the utter horror of 
our learned and unlearned old fogies of both sexes, High Schools have 
existed for decades, at which both sexes are educated in common. Let us 
hear with what result. President White of the University of Michigan 
declared as early as the middle of the seventies: "The best pupil in 
Greek, for several years, among 1,300 students, has been a young lady; 
the best pupil in mathematics in one of the strongest classes of our 
Institute is, likewise, a young lady; and several among the best pupils 
in natural science and the sciences in general are likewise young 
ladies." Dr. Fairchild, President of Oberlin College in Ohio, where over 
a thousand students of both sexes are instructed in common, said at 
about the same time: "During my incumbency of eight years as professor 
of ancient languages— Latin, Greek, and Hebrew— also in the ethical and 
philosophic studies, and during my incumbency of eleven years in 
abstract and applied mathematics, I have never noticed any difference in 
the two sexes except in the manner of reciting." Edward H. Machill, 
President of Swarthmore College in Delaware County, Pa., and author of a 
pamphlet, 148 from which these facts are taken, says that, after an 
experience of four years, he had arrived at the conclusion that, with an 
eye to both manners and morals, the education of the two sexes in common 
had given the best results. Many a pig-tail has yet to be cut off in 
Germany before common sense shall have broken its way through here. 

More recently, lively controversies have arisen in the literature of 
almost all countries of civilization on the question whether woman could 

201 



achieve intellectually as much as man. While some, by dint of great 
acumen and with the aid of facts supposed to be proofs, deny that such 
is possible, others maintain that, on many fields, it undoubtedly is the 
case. It is claimed that, generally speaking, woman is endowed with 
qualities that man is deficient in, and vice versa: the male method of 
reasoning is reflective and vigorous, woman's, on the contrary, 
distinguishes itself by swiftness of perception and quickness of 
execution. Certain it is that woman finds her way more quickly in 
complicated situations, and has more tact than man. Ellis, who gathered 
vast materials upon this question, turned to a series of persons, who 
had male and female students under their guidance for many years, and 
questioned them on their opinion and experience. McBendrick of Glasgow 
answered him: "After having taught female students for twenty years, I 
would sum up my observations with the statement that many women 
accomplish as much as men in general, and that many men do not 
accomplish as much as the female average." Other opinions in Ellis' book 
are less favorable, but none is unfavorable. According to the Yearbook 
of Berlin for 1870, pp. 69-77, investigation showed girls to be stronger 
in the sense of space, boys at figures; the girls excelled in the 
telling of stories, the boys in the explaining of religious principles. 
Whatever the way these questions may be turned and twisted, the fact 
appears that the two sexes supplement each other; the one is superior on 
one, the other on some other field, while on a number of others there 
is no difference in point of sex, but only in point of individual. 

It follows, furthermore, that there is no reason for confining one sex 
to a certain field, and prescribing to it the couise of development that 
it shall puisue, nor that, based on differences in natuial bent, in 
advantages and in defects, wliich mutually equalize themselves, 
privileges may be deducted for one sex, hindrances for another. 
Consequently— equality for all, and a free held for each, with a full 
swing according to their capacity and ability. 

Based upon the experience made during the last decades in the higher 
studies of woman, there is no longer any valid reason against the same. 
The teacher can do much, by the manner in which he teaches, to affect 
the attitude of his male and female pupils. Women, who devote themselves 
to a science, are often animated with an earnestness and will-power in 
which they excel most other students. The zeal of the female students 
is, on an average, greater than that of the male. 

hi reality, it is wholly different reasons that cause most professors of 
medicine, University teachers, in general, to take a hostile stand 
towards female students. They see in it a "degradation" of science, 
which might lose in the esteem of the narrow-minded masses, if the fact 
were to transpire that female brains also could grasp a science, which, 
until then, was confined to the select of the male sex only. 

202 



All claims to the contrary notwithstanding, our Universities, along with 
our whole system of education, are in poor plight. As, at the public 
school, the child is robbed of valuable time by filling his brain with 
matters that accord neither with common sense nor scientific experience; 
as a mass of ballast is there dumped into him that he can not utilize in 
life, that, rather, hampers him in his progress and development; so 
likewise is it done in our higher schools. In the preparatory schools 
for the Universities a mass of dry, useless matter is pounded into the 
pupils. These matters, that the pupils are made to memorize, take up 
most of their time and engage their most precious brain-power; 
whereupon, at the University, the identical process is carried on 
further. They are there taught a mass of antiquated, stale, superfluous 
lore, along with comparatively little that is valuable. The lectures, 
once written, are reeled off by most of the professors year after year, 
course after course, the interlarded witticisms included. The high 
ministry of education becomes with many, an ordinary trade; nor need the 
students be endowed with great sagacity to find this out. Furthermore, 
tradition regarding University life sees to it that the young folks do 
not take their years of study too seriously, and many a youth, who would 
take them seriously, is repelled by the pedantic and unenjoyable style 
of the professors. The decline in the zeal to learn and to study is a 
fact generally noticed at all our Universities and higher schools, and 
is even cause for serious concern with those in authority. Intimately 
connected therewith is the "grafting" tendency, which, in these days of 
ours, so poor in character, makes great progress and grows ever ranker 
in the higher schools. To have "safe views" takes the place of 
knowledge, and the poison spreads. To be a "patriot," that is to say, a 
person without a mind of his own, who carefully takes his cue from 
above, sees how the wind blows there, and trims his sails accordingly, 
bends and crawls,— such a person is more considered than one of 
character and knowledge. When the time for examination approaches, the 
"grafter" crams for a few months what seems most indispensible, in order 
to squeeze through. When, finally, examination has been happily passed 
and an office or professional post is secured, most of these 
"ex-students" work along in a merely mechanical and journeyman style, 
and are then highly offended if one, who was not a "student," fails to 
greet them with the greatest respect, and to treat them as specimens of 
some other and higher race. The majority of the members of our so-called 
higher professions— district attorneys, judges, doctors, professors, 
Government officials, artists, etc.,— are mere journeymen at their 
trades, who feel no need of further cultuie, but aie happy to stand by 
the crib. Only the industrious man discovers later, but only then, how 
much trash he has learned, often was not taught the very thing that he 
needed most, and has to begin to learn in good earnest. During the best 
time of his life he has been pestered with useless or even harmful 
stuff. He needs a second part of his life to rub all this off, and to 

203 



work himself up to the height of his age. Only then can he become a 
useful member of society. Many do not arrive beyond the first stage; 
others are stranded in the second; only a few have the energy to reach 
the third. 

But "decorum" requires that the mediaeval trumpery and useless 
curriculum be retained; and, seeing, moreover, that women, as a 
consequence of their sex, are from the start excluded from the 
preparatory schools, the circumstance furnishes a convenient pretext to 
shut the doors of the University lecture rooms in their faces. In 
[Leipzig], during the seventies, one of the most celebrated professors of 
medicine made the undisguised confession to a lady: "The gymnasium 
(college) training is not necessary to the understanding of medicine. 
Tliis is true. Nevertheless, it must be made a condition precedent for 
admission, in order that the dignity of science may not suffer. " 

Gradually is the opposition to the necessity of a "classical" education 
for the study of medicine being felt in Germany also. The immense 
progress made in the natural sciences, together with their importance to 
life, require an early initiation. Collegiate education, with its 
preference for the classic languages, Greek and Latin, looks upon the 
natural sciences as subordinate and neglects them. Hence, the students 
are frequently devoid of the necessary and preparatory knowledge in 
natural science that are of decided importance in certain studies, 
medicine, for instance. Against such a one-sided system of education 
opposition begins to spring up even in the circles of teachers, as 
proven by a declaration published in the autumn of 1894 by about 400 
teachers of the German High Schools. Abroad, in Switzerland, for 
instance, the leading place has long since been given to the studies in 
natural science, and any one, even without a so-called classic 
education, is admissible to the study of medicine, provided otherwise 
sufficiently equipped in natural science and mathematics. Similarly in 
Russia and the United States. 

In one of his writings, the late Pro. Bischoff gave "the rudeness of 
the students" as the reason why he did not recommend the study of 
medicine to women. He certainly was a good judge of that. In another 
place, and also quite characteristically, he says: "Why should not one 
(as professor) now and then allow some interesting, intelligent and 
handsome woman to attend a lecture upon some simple subject?"— an 
opinion that v. Sybel evidently shares and even expresses: "Some men 
there are who have rarely been able to refuse their assistance and help 
to a female pupil, greedy of knowledge and not uncomely." 

Pity the words spent in the [refutation] of such "reasons" and views! The 
time will come, when people will trouble themselves about the rudeness 
of the "cultured" as little as about the old fogyism and sensuous lusts 

204 



of the learned, but will do what common sense and justice bid. 

In Russia, after much pressure, the Czar gave his consent in 1872 to the 
establishment of a female faculty in medicine. The medical courses were 
attended in the period of 1872-1882 by 959 female students. Up to 1882 
there were 281 women who had filled the medical course; up to the 
beginning of 1884, there were 350; about 100 came from St. Petersburg. 
Of the female students who visited the faculty up to 1 882, there were 7 1 
(9.0 per cent.) married and 13 (1.6 per cent.) widows; of the rest, 116 
(15.9 per cent.) married during their studies. Most of the female 
students, 214, came from the ranks of the nobility and government 
officials; 138 from the merchant and privileged bourgeois class; 107 
from the military, 59 from the clergy, and 54 from the lower classes of 
the population. Of the 281 female physicians, who, up to 1882, had 
finished their studies, 62 were engaged by several Zemstvos; 54 found 
occupation in clinics; 12 worked as assistants at medical courses; and 
46 took up private practice. It is noteworthy that, of these female 
students, more than 52 per cent, had learned neither Latin nor Greek, 
and yet they did as good work as the men. This notwithstanding, female 
study was far from being a favorite among the Russian Government 
circles, until the great services rendered by the female physicians on 
the theater of war in Turkey during the Russo-Turkish campaign of 
1877-1878, broke the ice. At the beginning of the eighties, female 
studies took great increment in Russia: thousands of female pupils 
devoted themselves to several branches. Due thereto, and due especially 
to the fact that thereby free ideas were breaking through, threatening 
to endanger despotism, the female courses were suppressed by an imperial 
ukase of May 1, 1885, after the lives of the female students had for 
some time been made as hard as possible." 9 Since then, resolutions 
have been adopted at several Russian conventions of physicians to 
petition for the re-opening of the medical courses for women,— more than 
a German convention of physicians would do. As yet the attempt in Russia 
has remained unsuccessful. 

In Finland, a country that, although belonging to Russia, occupies an 
exceptionally privileged position in the Russian system, 105 female 
students were at the University of Helsingfors during the winter course 
of 1894-1895, as against 73 in the summer course of 1894. Of these 105 
female students, 47 were entered in the faculty of philosophy of history 
and 45 in that of mathematics; 5 studied medicine, a strikingly small 
figure compared with elsewhere; 7 law; and 1 theology. 

Among the women who distinguished themselves in their studies, belong 
the late Mrs. v. Kowalewska, who received in 1887 from the Academy of 
Sciences in Paris the hist prize for the solution of a mathematical 
problem, and since 1884 occupied a professorship of mathematics at the 
University of Stockholm. In Pisa, Italy, a lady occupies a professorship 

205 



ill pathology. Female physicians are found active in Algiers, Persia and 
India. In the United States there are about 100 female professors, and 
more than 70 who are superintendents of female hospitals. In Germany 
also the ice has been broken to the extent that in several 
cities— Berlin, Dresden, [Leipzig], [Frankfurt am Main], etc.,— female 
physicians, especially dentists, are in successful practice. 

With regard to energy and capacity in the scientific studies, England, 

in particular, can cite a series of handsome results. At the 

examinations in 1893, six women and six men held the highest marks. The 

examinations on art and on the theory and history of pedagogy were 

passed by nine women and not one man. At Cambridge, ten women sustained 

the severest test in mathematics. According to the sixteenth report of 

examinations of female students in Oxford, it appears that 62 women 

sustained the test of the first class, and 82 that of the second class; 

moreover the honorary examinations were sustained by more than one-half 

of the female candidates. Surely extraordinarily favorable results. 

Hostility to competition with women is particularly pronounced in 
Germany, because here the military turns out every year such a large 
number of mustered-out officers and under-officers as aspirants for the 
Civil Service, where there is little room for applicants from other 
sources. If, however, women are employed, and then at lower salaries, 
they appear to the already jealous men in a light that is doubly 
bad,— hist, as cheap labor; then as lowerers of wages. An extensive 
held of activity have women gained as teachers, a held for which, on 
the whole, they are well fitted. This is particularly the case in the 
United States, where, in 1890, of 363,000 teachers, 238,000 were 
female. 150 In Berlin there were on January 1, 1892, along with 194 
Rectors and 2,022 teachers, 1,024 pedagogically educated and 642 
technical female teachers, inclusive of their helpers. In England, 
France and the United States there are, furthermore, since several 
years, women successfully engaged in the important service of Factory 
Inspectors, a move that, in view of the enormous proportions that female 
labor is assuming ever more in the trades and industries, is well 
justified and becomes everywhere a necessity. 

At the Chicago Exposition of 1 893 women, furthermore, distinguished 
themselves in that, not only did female architects draw the plan and 
superintend the execution of the magnificent building for the exhibition 
of female products, but that women also appeared as independent 
operators in a number of products of art, which provoked general 
applause, and even astonishment. Also on the field of invention have 
women distinguished themselves, a subject on which, as early as 1 884, a 
publication in the United States imparted information to the world by 
producing a list of female inventors. According to the list, the 
following inventions were made or improved by women: an improved 

206 



spinning machine; a rotary loom, that produces three times as much as 

the ordinary loom; a chain elevator; a winch for screw steamers; a 

fire-escape; an apparatus for weighing wool, one of the most sensitive 

machines ever invented and of priceless value in the woolen industry; a 

portable water-reservoir to extinguish fires; a device for the 

application of petroleum in lieu of wood and coal as fuel on steamers; 

an improved catcher of sparks and cinders on locomotives; a signal for 

railroad crossings; a system for heating cars without fire; a 

lubricating felt to reduce friction on railroad cars; a writing machine; 

a signal rocket for the navy; a deep-sea telescope; a system for 

deadening noise on railroads; a smoke-consumer; a machine to fold paper 

bags, etc. Many improvements in the sewing machines are [because of] women, as 

for instance: an aid for the stretching of sails and heavy stuffs; an 

apparatus to wind up the thread while the machine is in motion; an 

improvement for the sewing of leather, etc. The last of these inventions 

was made by a woman who for years kept a saddle and harness shop in New 

York. The deep-sea telescope, invented by Mrs. Mather, and improved by 

her daughter, is an innovation of great importance: it makes possible 

the inspection of the keel of the largest ship, without bringing the 

same on the dry-dock. With the aid of this glass, sunken wrecks can be 

inspected from the deck of a ship, and search can be made for 

obstructions to navigation, torpedoes, etc. Along with these practical 

advantages, its application in science is full of promise. 

Among the machines, the extraordinary complexity and ingenuity of whose 
construction excited great admiration in America and Europe, is one for 
making paper bags. Many men, leading mechanics among them, had until 
then vainly sought to construct such a machine. A woman, Miss Maggie 
Knight, invented it. Since then, the lady invented also a machine to 
fold paper bags, that does the work of 30 persons. She herself 
superintends the construction of the machine in Amherst, Mass. That 
German women have made similar inventions is not yet known. 

The movement among women has spread even to Japan. In the autumn of 
1 892, the Japanese Parliament decided that it was forbidden to women to 
figure as publishers or editors of newspapers, also of such papers as 
are devoted to fashions, cooking, education of children, etc. In Japan, 
even the unheard-of sight has been seen of a woman becoming the 
publisher of a Socialist paper. That was a little too much for the 
Japanese legislators, and they issued the above stated decree. It is, 
however, not forbidden to women to act as reporters for newspapers. The 
Japanese Government will succeed as little in denying their rights to 
women as its European rivals of equal mental make-up. 



207 



CHAPTER V. 

WOMAN'S CIVIC AND POLITICAL STATUS. 

The social dependence of a rank or a class ever finds its expression in 
die laws and political institutions of a country. Laws are the mirror in 
which is reflected a country's social condition, to the extent that the 
same has been brought within definite rules. Woman, as a subject and 
oppressed sex, constitutes no exception to the principle. Laws are 
negative or positive. Negative in so far as they ignore the oppressed in 
the distribution of privileges and rights, as though he did not exist; 
positive, in so far as they expressly assign his dependent position to 
the oppressed, and specify possible exceptions in his favor. 

Our common law rests upon the Roman law, which, recognized persons only 

as property-holding beings. The old German law, which treated woman more 

worthily, has preserved its force only partially. In the French 

language, the human being and the man are designated by the same word, 

"1'homme"; likewise in the English language,— "man." French law 

knows the human being only as man; and so was it also until recently 

in England, where woman found herself in slavish dependence upon man. It 

was similarly in Rome. There were Roman citizens, and wives of Roman 

citizens, but no female citizens. 

Impossible were it to enumerate the numberless laws found on the motley 
map of German common rights. Let a few instances suffice. 

According to the common law of Germany, the wife is a minor towards her 
husband; the husband is her master, to whom she owes obedience. If the 
woman is "disobedient," then, according to the law of Prussia, the 
husband of "low" estate has the right of "moderate castigation." Men of 
"high" estate also there are said to be who arrogate such a right to 
themselves. Seeing that nowhere is the force or number of the blows 
prescribed, the husband is the sovereign judge. The old city law of 
Hamburg declares: "For the rest, the right of moderate castigation of 
the wife by her husband, of children by their parents, of pupils by 
their teachers, or servants by their masters and mistresses, is hereby 
adjudged just and permissible." 

Similar provisions are numerous in Germany. According to the law of 
Prussia, the husband may prescribe to the wife how long she shall 
suckle her cliild. In cases of disposing of the children, the father 
alone decides. If he dies, the wife is in most German states compelled 
to accept a guardian for her children: she herself is considered a 
minor, and is held unfit to attend to their education herself, even when 
she supports her children by her property or labor. As a rule, her 
husband administers her property, and, in cases of bankruptcy, the same 

208 



is considered and disposed of as his own, unless a pre-marital contract 
secures the property to her. Wherever the right of primogeniture 
attaches to landed property, a woman, even if she be the first born, can 
not enter into possession if there be younger brothers. She can step in 
only when she has no brothers. In most German states, a married woman 
can contract only with the consent of her husband, unless she owns a 
business in her own name, such as, according to more recent law, she is 
allowed to start. She is shut off from all public function. The Prussian 
law on associations forbids pupils and apprentices under 18 years of age 
and women to join political organizations. Until a few decades ago, the 
attendance of women among the public at open trials was forbidden by 
several German codes of criminal procedure. If a woman gives birth to an 
illegitimate child, it has no claim to support from its father if its 
mother accepted any presents from him during her pregnancy. If a woman 
is divorced from her husband, she continues to cany his name as a 
lasting memento, unless she marry again. 

In Germany, hundreds of frequently contradictory laws are met with. 
According to the bill for the new civil laws of Germany, the 
administration of the wife's property falls to the husband, unless the 
wife has seemed her property to herself by special contract. This is a 
reactionary attitude, long since discarded by many other countries. On 
the other hand, the wife is allowed to retain what she has earned by her 
own personal labor, and without assistance of her husband, or by the 
independent conduct of a business enterprise. 

In England, and down to 1870, the common law of the land gave to the 
husband all the personal property of the wife. Only with regard to real 
estate were her proprietary rights safeguarded; the husband, 
nevertheless, had the right of administration and of use. At the bar of 
law, the English woman was a zero: she could perform no legal act, not 
even execute a valid testament; she was a veritable serf of her husband. 
A crime committed by her in his presence, he was answerable for: she was 
at all points a minor. If she injured any one, damage was assessed as if 
done by a domestic animal: the husband was held. According to an address 
delivered in 1888 by Bishop J. N. Wood in the chapel of Westminster, as 
recentiy as a hundred years ago the wife was not allowed to eat at table 
or to speak before she was spoken to: above the bed hung a stout whip, 
that the husband was free to use when the wife displayed ill temper: 
only her daughters were subject to her orders: her sons saw in her 
merely a female servant. Since 1870 and 1882, the wife is not merely 
secured in the sole possession of the property that she brings with her, 
she is also the proprietor of all she earns, or receives by inheritance 
or gift. These rights can be altered only by special contract between 
the husband and wife. English legislation followed the example of the 
United States. 



209 



Particularly backward is the civil law of France, of most of the Swiss 
cantons, of Belgium, etc., in the matter of woman's civic rights. 
According to the Code Civil, the husband could sue for divorce upon 
the adultery of the wife; she, however, could institute such an action 
only if the husband kept his concubine at his own home (Article 230) . 
This provision has been repealed by the divorce law of July 27, 1884, 
but the difference continues in force in the French criminal code,— a 
characteristic manoeuvre on the part of the French legislator. If the 
wife is convicted of adultery, she is punished with imprisonment for 
not less than two months nor more than three years. The husband is 
punished only when, according to the spirit of the former Article 230 of 
the Code Civil, he keeps a concubine under the domestic roof against the 
wish of his wife. If found guilty, he is merely Ened not less than 100 
and not more than 1,000 francs. (Arts. 337 and 339 Code Penal.) Such 
inequality before the law were impossible if but one woman sat in the 
French Parliament. A similar law exists in Belgium. The punishment for 
adultery by the wife is the same as in France; the husband is liable 
only if the act of adultery is committed at the home of the married 
couple: he may then suffer imprisonment for not less than one month, or 
more than one year. Slightly juster is, accordingly, the law in Belgium 
than in France; nevertheless, in the one place as in the other, there 
are two different standards of right, one for the husband, another for 
the wife. Similar provisions exist, under the influence of French law, 
in Spain and Portugal. The civil law of Italy of 1865 enables the wife 
to obtain a divorce from her husband only if the husband keeps his 
concubine at his own home, or at such other place where the concubine's 
presence must be considered in the light of a grave insult to the wife. 

In France, Belgium and Switzerland, woman falls, as in Germany, under 
the guardianship of her husband, the moment she marries. According to 
section 215 of the Code Civil, she is not allowed to appear in Court 
without the consent of her husband and of two of her nearest male 
relations, not even if she conducts a public business. According to 
section 213 the husband must protect the wife, and she must yield 
obedience to him. There is a saying of Napoleon I. that typifies his 
idea concerning the status of woman: "One thing is utterly un-French— a 
woman that can do what she pleases." 151 In these countries, 
furthermore, woman may not appear as a witness in the execution of 
contracts, testaments or any notarial act. On the other hand— odd 
contradiction— she is allowed to act as a witness in all criminal 
trials, where her testimony may lead to the execution of a person. 
Within the puiiiew of the criminal code, she is on all hands considered 
of equal value, and she is measured for every crime or offense with the 
same yard-stick as man. The contradiction, however, does not penetrate 
the wool of our legislators. As a widow, she may dispose of her 
property by testament; as witness to a testament, however, she is not 
admissible in a number of countries; all the same, according to Art. 

210 



1029 of the Code Civil, she maybe appointed the executor of a will. 
In Italy, since 1877, woman is qualified to appear as a witness in civil 
actions also. 

According to the law of the canton of Zurich, the husband is the 
guardian of his wife; he administers her property; and he represents her 
before third parties. According to the Code Civil, the husband 
administers the property that the wife brings with her, he can sell her 
property, alienate it, load it with mortgages without requiring her 
consent, or signature. Similar provisions exist in several other cantons 
of Switzerland besides Zurich, in France, Belgium, Luxemburg, the 
Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, Sweden, Denmark and also in a large part 
of Germany. Countries in which community of property may be excluded in 
marriage are, besides parts of Germany, and a large part of Switzerland, 
Austria, Poland and the Baltic provinces. Countries in which the 
absolute independence of married women exists with respect to their 
property are: Italy, Russia, Great Britain and Ireland. In Norway, a law 
of the year 1 888, on the administration of the property of married 
persons, provides that a married woman has the same power to dispose of 
her property as unmarried women, only the law specifies a few 
exceptions. In this law the expression is used that woman becomes 
un-free in marriage. Who could blame her if, there also, as happens 
frequently in France, women are seen to waive formal matrimonial 
contracts? 

According to the law of Berne, what the married woman earns belongs to 
her husband. Similarly with most cantons of Switzerland, also in France 
and Belgium. The consequence is that the wife often hnds herself in a 
state of virtual slavery: the husband squanders with lewd women or in 
the grog-shop what his wife makes: he incurs debts: gambles aw r ay his 
wife's earnings: leaves her and her children in w r ant. He even has the 
right to demand from her employer the w r ages due her. 

By the law r of December 1 1, 1874, Sw r eden secures to the married woman the 
right to dispose freely of that which she earns by her personal effort. 
Denmark has raised the same principle to the force of a law; nor can, 
according to Danish law r , the property of the wife be seized to cover the 
debts of the husband. Similarly runs the law r of Nonvay of 1888. 152 The 
right of educating the children and of deciding thereupon is, according 
to the legislation of most countries, the attribute of the father: here 
and there a subordinate co-operation is granted the mother. The old 
Roman maxim, that stood in sharp contradiction to the principles 
prevalent during the mother-right, and that clothed the father alone 
with rights and pow r ers over the child, is to this day the key-note of 
legislation on the subject. 

Among the continental countries, woman holds the freest position in 

211 



Russia,— [because of] the communistic institutions there still in existence, 
or to reminiscences of the same. In Russia, woman is the administrator 
of her property: she enjoys equal rights in the administration of the 
community. Communism is the most favorable social condition to woman. 
The fact transpired from the sketch of the age of the mother-right, 
given on previous pages. 153 In the United States women have conquered 
full civil equality; they have also prevented the introduction of the 
English and similar laws regulating prostitution. 

The chic inequality of woman has provoked among the more advanced 
members of the female sex demand for political rights, to the end of 
wielding the power of legislation in behalf of their civic equality. It 
is the identical thought that moved the working class everywhere to 
direct their agitation towards the conquest of the political powers. 
What is right for the working class can not be wrong for woman. 
Oppressed, disfranchised, relegated everywhere to the rear, woman has 
not the right only, she has the duty to defend herself, and to seize 
every means she may deem tit to conquer a more independent position for 
herself. Against these efforts also the reactionary mob, of course, 
bristles up. Let us see how. 

The great French Revolution, that, as is well known, started in 1 789 and 
threw all old institutions out of joint, conjured up a freedom of 
spirits such as the world had never seen before. Woman also stepped upon 
the stage. During the previous decades immediately preceding the 
outbreak of the Revolution, many of them had taken part in the great 
intellectual struggle that then raged throughout French society. They 
flocked in swarms to the great scientific discussions, attended 
political and scientific meetings, and did their share in preparing the 
Revolution, where theory was to crystalize into fact. Most historians 
have noted only the excesses of the Revolution,— and as always happens 
when the object is to cast stones at the people and arouse horror 
against them— have enormously exaggerated these to the end of all the 
more readily extenuating the shameful transgressions of the ruling 
class. As a rule, these historians have belittled the heroism and 
greatness of soul, displayed also by many women in both camps. So long 
as the vanquishers remain the historians of the vanquished, it will ever 
be thus. 

In October, 1789, a number of women petitioned the National Assembly 
"that equality be restored between man and woman, work and occupation be 
given them free, places be left for them that their faculties were fit 
for." 

When in 1 793 the Convention proclaimed "7e droit de l'homine" (the 
Rights of Man), the more far-seeing women perceived that these were only 
the rights of males. Olympe de Gouges, Louise Lecombe and others 

212 



paralleled these "Rights of Man" with 17 articles on the "Rights of 
Woman," which, on the 28th Brnmaire (November 20, 1793) they defended 
before the Commune of Paris upon the principle: "If woman has the right 
to mount the scaffold, she must also have the right to mount the 
tribune." Their demands remained unheeded. When, subsequently, upon the 
march of monarchic Europe against the Republic, the Convention declared 
the "Fatherland in danger," and called upon all men, able to carry arms, 
to defend the Fatherland and the Republic, inspired Parisian women 
offered to do what twenty years later inspired Prussian women likewise 
did against the domination of Napoleon,— defend the Fatherland, arms in 
hand. The radical Chaumette [Pierre-Gaspard Chaumette (1763-1794)] 
rose against those Parisian women and addressed them, asking: "Since when 
is it allowed to women to renounce their sex and become men? Since when 
is it usage for them to abandon the sacred cares of their households, the cradles 
of their children, and to appear at public places, to speak from the tribunes, to 
step in the files of the troops,— in short, to fill duties that nature has devolved 
upon man alone? nature said to man: 'Be thou man! Racing, the chase, 
the cultivation of the fields, politics and violent labors of all sorts 
are thy privilege! It said to woman: 'Be thou woman! The care of 
thy children, the details of thy household, the sweet inquietudes of 
motherhood,— that is thy work! Unwise women, why wish you to become 
men? Is not mankind properly divided? What more can you want? In the 
name of nature, remain what you are; and, far from envying us the perils 
of so stormy a life, rest satisfied to make us forget them in the lap of 
our families, by allowing our eyes to rest upon the fascinating 
spectacle of our children, made happy by your tender care." 

The women allowed themselves to be silenced, and went aw r ay. There can be 
no doubt that the radical Chaumette voiced the innermost sentiments of 
most of our men, who otherwise abhor him. We also hold that it is a 
proper division of w r ork to leave to men the defense of the country, and 
to women the care of the home and the hearth. In Russia, late in the 
fall of the year and after they have tended the fields, the men of whole 
village districts move to distant factories, and leave to the women the 
administration of the commune and the house. For the rest, the 
oratorical gush of Chaumette is mere phrases. What he says concerning 
the labors of the men in the fields is not even correct: since time 
immemorial down to to-day, woman's was not the easy part in agriculture. 
The alleged labors of the chase and the race course are no "labors" at 
all: they are amusements of men; and, as to politics, it has perils for 
him only who swims against the stream, otherwise it offers the men at 
least as much amusement as labor. It is the egoism of man that speaks in 
that speech. 

At about the same time when the French Revolution was under way, and 
engaged the attention of all Europe, a woman rose on the other side of 
the Channel also, in England, to labor publicly in behalf of equal 

213 



rights for her sex. She was Maiy Wollstonecraft, born in 1759, and who, 
in 1790, published a book against Edmund Burke, the most violent enemy 
of the French Revolution. She later, 1792, wrote a second book— "A 
Vindication of the Rights of Woman"— in which she took the stand for 
absolute equality of rights for her sex. In this book she demands the 
suffrage for women in the elections for the Lower House. But she met in 
England with even less response than did her sisters in France. 
Ridiculed and insulted by her contemporaries, she went under after 
trying ordeals. Before the Revolution it was the encyclopedist Condorcet 
who principally took the field for the equal rights of both sexes. 

To-day, matters lie somewhat differently. Since then, conditions have 
changed mightily,— the position of woman along with them. Whether 
married or unmarried, more than ever before woman now has a deep 
interest in social and political conditions. It can not be a matter of 
indifference to her whether the Government chains every year to the army 
hundreds of thousands of rigorous, healthy men; whether a policy is in 
force that favors wars, or does not; whether the necessaries of life are 
made dearer by taxes, that promote, besides, the adulteration of food, 
and are all the harder upon a family in the measure of its size, at a 
time, at that, in which the means of life are most stingily measured for 
the large majority. Moreover, woman pays direct and indirect taxes out 
of her support and her income. Again, the system of education is of 
highest interest to her: it goes far towards determining the position of 
her sex: as a mother, she has a double interest therein. 

Furthermore, as has been shown, there are to-day millions of women, in 
hundreds of pursuits, all of them with a lively personal interest in the 
manner that our laws are shaped. Questions concerning the horns of work; 
night, Sunday and child-labor; payment of wages and notice of discharge; 
safety appliances in factory and shop; etc.— all are political questions 
that concern them as well as the men. Workingmen know little or nothing 
about conditions in many branches of industry, where women are mainly, 
or exclusively, engaged. Employers have all the interest in the world to 
hush up evils that they are responsible for. Factory inspection 
frequently does not extend to branches of industry in which women are 
exclusively employed: such as it is, it is utterly inadequate: and yet 
these are the very branches in which protective measures frequently are 
most needed. It suffices to mention the workshops in which seamstresses, 
dressmakers, milliners, etc., are crowded together in our larger cities. 
From thence, hardly a complaint issues; thither no investigation has as 
yet penetrated. Finally, as a trader, woman is also interested in laws 
on commerce and tariffs. There can, accordingly, be no doubt that woman 
has an interest and a right to demand a hand in the shaping of things by 
legislation, as well as man. Her participation in public life would 
impart a strong stimulus thereto, and open manifold new vistas. 



214 



Such demands, however, are met with the curt rebuff: "Women know nothing; 
of politics, and most of them don't want to, either; neither do they 
know how to use the ballot." True, and not true. True enough, until now, 
very few women, in Germany at least, have ventured to demand political 
equality also. The first woman, who, as a writer, came out in its favor 
in Germany was, as far as we know, Frau Hedwig Dohm. More recently, it 
is mainly the Socialist working-women, who are vigorously agitating for 
the idea; and their number is ever larger. 

Nothing is proved with the argument that women have, until now, shown 
little interest in the political movement. The fact that, hitherto, 
women have troubled themselves little about politics, is no proof that 
they should continue in the same path. The same reasons, advanced to-day 
against female suffrage, were advanced during the first half of the 
sixties in Germany against manhood suffrage. Even as late as 1863, the 
author of this book himself was of those who opposed manhood suffrage; 
four years later he owed to it his election to the Reichstag. Thousands 
of others went through the same mill: from Sauls they became Pauls. Many 
are the men, who either do not care or do not know how to use their 
important political rights. And yet that fact was no reason to withhold 
the suffrage from them, and can be none to now deprive them of it. At 
the Reichstag elections in Germany, 25 to 30 per cent, of the qualified 
voters do not vote at all. These non-voters are recruited from all 
classes: among them are scientists and laborers. Moreover, of the 70 to 
15 per cent, of those who participate in the election, the majority, 
according to our judgment, vote in a way that they would not, if they 
realized their true interests. That as yet they have not realized them 
comes from defective political training, a training, however, that these 
70 to 15 per cent, possess in a higher degree than the 25 to 30 per 
cent., who stay away altogether. Among the latter, those must be 
excepted who remain away from the hustings because they cannot, without 
danger, vote according to their convictions. 

Political education is not gained by keeping the masses from public 
affairs; it is gained by admitting them to the exercise of political 
rights. Practice makes perfect. The ruling classes have hitherto found 
their account in keeping the large majority of the people in political 
childhood. Hence it has ever been the task of a class-conscious minority 
to battle with energy and enthusiasm for the collective interest of 
society, and to shake up and drag the large inert mass after them. Thus 
has it been in all great Movements: it is neither astonishing nor 
discouraging that the experience made with the Movement of the working 
class is repeated in the Movement for the emancipation of woman. 
Previous successes prove that pains, labor and sacrifices are rewarded; 
the future brings triumph. 

The moment woman acquires equal rights with man, the sense of her duties 

215 



will be quickened. Called upon to cast her ballot, she will ask, What 
for? Whom for? Immediately, emulation in many directions will set in 
between man and woman that, so far from injuring, will materially 
improve their mutual relations. The less posted woman will naturally 
turn to the better posted man. Interchange of ideas and mutual 
instruction follows,— a condition of things until now found most rarely 
between husband and wife: it will impart a fresh charm to life. The 
unhappy differences in education and view-points between the two 
sexes,— differences, that so frequently lead to dissensions between 
husband and wife, that place the husband at variance with his many-sided 
duties, and that injure the well-being of all, will be wiped out. 
Instead of a clog, the husband will gain a supporter in a compatible 
wife; whenever prevented by other duties from personal participation, 
she will spur her husband to fulfil his own. She will find it legitimate 
that a fraction of his earnings be spent in a newspaper, for agitational 
purposes, because the paper serves to educate and entertain her also, 
and because she realizes the necessity of the sacrifice, a sacrifice 
that helps to conquer that which she, her husband and her children 
lack,— an existence worthy of human beings. 

Thus, the joining of hands by husband and wife for the common weal, so 
closely connected with the weal of the individual, will exert a most 
ennobling influence. The very reverse is called into life of that wiiich 
is claimed by near-sighted people, or by the foes of a commonwealth 
based upon the equality of all. Nor would it end there. The relation 
between the tw r o sexes w r ould be beautiful in the measure that the social 
institutions will liberate husband and wife from material cares and from 
excessive work. Practice and education will, here as in all other cases, 
give further aid. If I go not in the w r ater, I shall never learn to swim; 
if I study no foreign language and do not practice it, I shall never 
learn to speak it. Everyone finds that natural; and yet many fail to 
realize that the same holds good in the affairs of government and 
society. Are our women unfitter than the far lower negroes, to whom full 
political equality w r as conceded in North America? And shall a highly 
intellectual woman be vested with lesser rights than the rudest, least 
cultured man,— an ignorant day-laborer of the backwoods of Pomerania, or 
an ultramontane canalman, for instance, and all because accident let 
these come into the w r orld as men? The son has greater rights than his 
mother, from whom, perchance, he derives his best qualities, the very 
qualities that alone make him what he is. Truly wonderful! 

Moreover, we in Germany weaild no longer be running the risk of being the 
first to take the leap in the dark and the unknown. The United States, 
England and other countries have opened the w r ay. In the state of Wyoming 
in the United States, woman suffrage has been tested since 1869. On 
November 12, 1872, writing from Laramie City, Wyo., on the subject, 
Judge Kingman says in the Chicago "Women's Journal": 

216 



"Three years ago to-day women obtained the right of electing and of 
being elected to office in our Territory, in the same manner as the 
other electors. During this period they have voted and have been voted 
for; they have exercised the functions of jurors and arbiters; they have 
taken part in large numbers at our elections, and although I believe 
that some among us oppose the admission of women from motives of 
principle, no one, I think, can refuse to recognize that their influence 
on the elections has been an elevating one. It caused them to be 
conducted in a more peaceable and orderly manner, and at the same time 
enabled our courts of justice to discover and punish various kinds of 
crime that had until then remained unpunished. 

"For instance, when the Territory was first organized, there was 
scarcely a man who did not carry a revolver and make use of it in the 
slightest dispute. I cannot remember a single case in which a jury 
composed of men brought in a verdict of guilty against one of those who 
had shot with a revolver, but when two or three women were among them, 
they have invariably attended to the instructions of the Court." 

In what esteem woman suffrage was held in Wyoming twenty-five years 
after its introduction, may be gathered from the address issued on 
November 12, 1894, to the Parliaments of the world by the Legislature of 
that state. It says: 

"The possession and exercise of suffrage by the women in Wyoming for the 
past quarter of a century has wrought no harm and has done great good in 
many ways; it has largely aided in banishing crime, pauperism, and vice 
from this state, and that without any violent or oppressive legislation; 
it has secured peaceful and orderly elections, good government, and a 
remarkable degree of civilization and public order; and we point with 
pride to the facts that after nearly twenty-five years of Woman Suffrage 
not one county in Wyoming has a poorhouse, that our jails are almost 
empty, and crime, except that committed by strangers in the state, 
almost unknown; and as the result of experience we urge every civilized 
community on earth to enfranchise its women without delay." 151 

While giving fullest credit to the political activity of the women of 
Wyoming, we cannot go to the extreme, reached by the enthusiastic 
defenders of woman suffrage in the Legislature of that state, of 
ascribing exclusively to the ballot in woman's hands the enviable 
conditions, which, according to the account of the address, Wyoming 
rejoices in. A number of social causes of other nature contribute 
thereto. Nevertheless, the fact is unquestionable that female suffrage 
has been accompanied by the most beneficent results for that state, and 
without one disadvantage. That is the most brilliant justification of 
its introduction. 

217 



The example of Wyoming found followers. To-day there are a number of 

countries in which woman enjoys political rights to greater or less 

extent. In the United States, women obtained several years ago the 

ballot in Colorado, and in 1 894 they elected a number of 

representatives; likewise in Arizona, and still more recently in 

Minnesota. In New Zealand, they took a lively part in the parliamentary 

elections of 1 893, livelier, in fact, than the men, although they were 

only qualified to elect: only men were qualified to be elected. In 

March, 1 894, the Prime Minister declared to a deputation of women that 

he would advocate their qualification to be elected. In 1893, there were 

twenty-two states in the North American Union where women were qualified 

both to elect and be elected for the School Boards. In Kansas, Nebraska, 

Colorado, Oregon, Arizona, Dakota, Idaho, Minnesota and Montana they are 

fully qualified electors for municipal officers, provided they are 

resident citizens. In Argonia, Kans., the wife of a physician was 

elected Mayor; 155 the same thing happened in Onehunga, New Zealand. 

Since more than ten years ago, women in Sweden have the suffrage for 

departmental and municipal elections, under the same restrictions as 

men. 

In England, the struggle, for woman's political rights has a regular 
history behind it. According to the old custom of the Middle Ages, 
women, seized of landed property, were also vested with the suffrage, 
and, as such also filled judicial functions. In the course of time they 
lost these rights. In the bill for Parliamentary Reform in 1832, the 
word "person" was used, a term that, according to English conceptions, 
includes the members of both sexes, men and women. This notwithstanding, 
the law was interpreted adversely to women and they were turned back 
wherever they made the effort to vote. In the electoral reform Act of 
1867, the word "man" was substituted for the word "person." John Stuart 
Mill moved the re-insertion of "person" in place of "man," with the 
express purpose that women shall be vested with the suffrage under the 
same conditions as men. The motion was defeated by 196 votes against 83. 
Sixteen years later, 1 883, the attempt was again made in the Lower House 
to giant women the suffrage. A motion to that effect was defeated by a 
majority of 16. A further attempt in 1884 was defeated in a fuller House 
by more than 136 votes. But the minority did not evacuate the field. In 
1 886 it succeeded in carrying to a second reading a motion to giant 
women the suffrage; but the dissolution of Parliament prevented a final 
vote being taken. Again, on April 27, 1892, the Lower House defeated 
with 175 votes against 152, the second reading of a motion on the 
subject presented by Sir A. Rollit, and which provided as follows: 

"Every woman who in Great Britain is registered or entitled to be 
registered as an elector for a Town Council or Comity Council or who in 
Ireland is a rate payer entitled to vote in the election of Guardians of 

218 



the Poor, shall be entitled to be registered as a Parliamentary elector, 
and when registered, to vote at any Parliamentary election for the 
county, borough, or division wherein the qualifying property is 
situate." 

On November 29, 1888, Lord Salisbury held a speech in Edinburgh, in the 
course of which he said: "I earnestly hope that the day is not far 
distant when women also will bear their share in voting for members in 
the political w r orld and in the determining the policy of the country." 
And Alfred Russell Wallace, celebrated as a naturalist and follower of 
Darwin, expressed himself upon the same question this wise: "When men 
and women shall have freedom to follow^ their best impulses, when both 
shall receive the best possible education, when no false restraints 
shall be imposed upon any human being by the reason of the accident of 
sex, and when public opinion shall be regulated by the wisest and best 
and shall be systematically impressed upon youth, then shall w r e find 
that a system of human selection will arise that is bound to have a 
reformed humanity for its result. So long as woman is compelled to 
regard marriage as a means by which to escape poverty and avoid neglect, 
she is and remains at a disadvantage with man. Hence, the first step in 
the emancipation of woman is the removal of all restraints that prevent 
her from competing with man on all the fields of industry and in all 
pursuits. But w r e must go further, and allow r w r oman the exercise of her 
political rights. Many of the restraints, under which woman has 
suffered until now, w r ould have been spared to her, had she had direct 
representation in Parliament." 

In most sections of England, married women have the same political 
rights as men in the elections for the School Boards and Guardians of 
the Poor, and in many places are themselves qualified for election. At 
the county elections, immairied women have the right to vote under the 
same restrictions as men, but are not themselves qualified for election. 
Likewise did all independent tax-paying women obtain the right to vote 
by the Reform Act of 1869, but are not qualified for election. Mairied 
women are in virtue of a court decision, rendered in 1872, excluded 
from the suffrage, because in English law woman loses her independence 
by marriage— a decided encouragement for women to keep aw r ay from the 
legal formality of legitimate marriage. Seeing that also in other 
respects unmarried or divorced women in England and Scotland are clothed 
with rights denied to married women, the temptation is not slight for 
women to renounce legitimate unions. It is not exactly the part of 
wisdom for the male representatives of bourgeois society to degrade 
bourgeois marriage into a sort of slave status for woman. 1 ' 6 

In Austria, women who are landed proprietors, or conduct a business, to 
which the suffrage is attached, have the right to exercise the privilege 
by attorney. This holds both for local and Reichstag elections. If the 

219 



woman is proprietor of a mercantile or industrial establishment, which 

gives the right to vote for the Chamber of Commerce, her franchise must 

be exercised by a business manager. In France, on the contrary, a woman 

who conducts a business, has a right to vote at the election of members 

for the tribunals of commerce, but she cannot herself be elected. 

According to the law of 1891 of the old Prussian provinces, women have 

the suffrage, if the landed property that belongs to them conveys the 

right to vote, nevertheless they must exercise the privilege through a 

male representative, neither are they eligible themselves. Likewise 

according to the laws of Hanover, Brunswick, Schleswig-Holstein, 

Sachsen-Weimar, Hamburg and Luebeck. In Saxony, the law allows women the 

suffrage if they are landed proprietors and are unmarried. If married, 

the woman's vote goes to her husband. In all these cases, accordingly, 

the right of suffrage does not attach to persons but to property— quite 

a light upon existing political and legal morality: Man, thou art zero 

if moneyless or propertyless; knowledge, intellect are secondary 

matters. Property decides. 

We see that the principle of denying woman the suffrage on the theory of 
her not being "of age" is broken through in fact; and yet objection is 
raised to granting her the right in full. It is said that to grant woman 
the suffrage is dangerous because she yields easily to religious 
prejudices, and is conservative. She is both only because she is 
ignorant. Let her be educated and taught where her interests lie. For 
the rest, the influence of religion on elections is exaggerated. 
Ultramontane agitation has hitherto been so successful in Germany only 
because it knew how to join social with religious interests. The 
ultramontane chaplains long vied with the Socialists in uncovering the 
social foulness. Hence their influence with the masses. With the close 
of the Kulturkampf, the influence of the Catholic clergymen upon the 
masses waned. The clergy is forced to discontinue its opposition to the 
Government; simultaneously therewith, the rising class struggle compels 
it to consider the Catholic capitalist class and Catholic nobility; it 
will, accordingly, be compelled to observe greater caution on the social 
field. Thus the clergy will forfeit its influence with the workingmen, 
especially at such critical junctures when considerations for the 
Government and the ruling classes drive it to approve of, or tolerate 
actions and laws directed against the interests of the working class. 
The same causes will, in the end, have their influence upon woman. When 
at public meetings, through newspapers and from personal observation she 
will have learned where her own interest lies, woman will emancipate 
herself from the clergy, the same as man has done. The fiercest opponent 
of female suffrage is the clergy, and it knows the reason why. Its rule 
and its domains are endangered. 

That the movement for the political rights of woman has not been 
promptly crowned with greater success is no reason to withhold the 

220 



ballot from her. What would the workingmen say if the Liberals proposed 
abolishing manhood suffrage— and the same is very inconvenient to 
them— on the ground that it benefits the Socialists in particular? A 
good law does not become bad by reason of him who wields it not yet 
having learned its right use. 

Naturally, the right to be elected should go together with the right to 
elect. "A woman in the tribune of the Reichstag, that would be a 
spectacle!" we hear people exclaim. Our generation has grown accustomed 
to the sight of women in the speaker's tribune at their conventions and 
meetings; in the United States, also in the pulpit and the jury box— why 
not, then, also in the tribune of the Reichstag? The first woman elected 
to the Reichstag, would surely know how to impose respect. When the 
first workingmen entered the Reichstag it was also believed they could 
be laughed down, and it was claimed that the working class would soon 
realize the foolishness it had committed in electing such people. Its 
representatives, however, knew how to make themselves quickly respected; 
the fear to-day is lest there be too many of them. Frivolous witlings 
put in: "Just imagine a pregnant woman in the tribune of the Reichstag; 
how utterly unesthetic!" The identical gentlemen find it, however, quite 
in order that pregnant women work at the most unesthetic trades, at 
trades in which female dignity, health and decency are undermined. In 
the eyes of a Socialist, that man is a wretch who can crack jokes over a 
woman with child. The mere thought that his own mother once looked like 
that before she brought him into the world, should cause his cheeks to 
burn with shame; the thought that he, rude jester, expects from a 
similar condition on the part of his wife the fulfillment of his dearest 
wishes should cause him, furthermore, to hold his tongue in shame. 

A woman who gives birth to cliildren renders, at least, the same sendee 
to the commonwealth as the man who defends his country and liis hearth 
with his life against a foe in seaich of conquests. Moreover, the life 
of a woman trembles in the scales at child-birth. All our mothers have 
looked death in the face at our births, and many succumbed. The number 
of women who die as a result of cliild-birth, or who as a consequence 
pine away in sickness, is greater than that of the men who fall on the 
Geld ol battle, or are wounded. In Prussia, between 1816-1876, not 
less than 321,791 women fell a prey to child-[bed] fever— a yearly 
average of 5,363. This is by far a larger figure than that of the 
Prussians, who, during the same period, were killed in war or died of 
their wounds. Nor must, at the contemplation of this enormous number of 
women who died of child- [bed] fever, the still larger number of those be 
lost sight of, who, as a consequence of child-birth, are permanently 
crippled in health, and die prematurely. 15 ' These are additional 
reasons for woman's equal rights with man— reasons to be held up 
especially to those, who play man's duty to defend the Fatherland as a 
decisive circumstance, entitling them to superior consideration to 

221 



women. For the rest, in virtue of our military institutions, most men do 
not even fill this duty: to the majority of them it exists upon paper 
only. 

All these superficial objections to the public activity of woman would 
be unimaginable were the relations of the two sexes [natural], and 
were there not an antagonism, artificially raised side by side with the 
relation of master and servant between the two. From early youth the two 
are separated in social intercourse and education. Above all, it is the 
antagonism, for which Christianity is responsible, that keeps the sexes 
steadily apart and the one in ignorance about the other, and that 
hinders free social intercourse, mutual confidence, a mutual 
supplementing of traits of character. 

One of the first and most important tasks of a rationally organized 
society must be to end this unhallowed split, and to reinstate nature in 
its rights. The violence done to nature starts at school: First, the 
separation of the sexes; next, mistaken, or no instruction whatever, in 
matters that concern the human being as a sexual entity. True enough, 
natural history is taught in every tolerably good school. The child 
learns that birds lay eggs and hatch them out: he also learns when the 
mating season begins: that males and females are needed: that both 
jointly assume the building of the nests, the hatching and the care of 
the young. He also learns that mammals bring forth live young: he learns 
about the rutting season and about the fights of the males for the 
females during the same: he learns the usual number of young, perhaps 
also the period of pregnancy. But on the subject of the origin and 
development of his own stock he remains in the dark; that is veiled in 
mystery. When, thereupon, the child seeks to satisfy his natural 
curiosity with questions addressed to his parents, to his mother in 
particular— he seldom ventures with them to his teacher— he is saddled 
with the silliest stories that cannot satisfy him, and that are all the 
more injurious when he some day does ascertain the truth. There are 
probably few children who have not made the discovery by the twelfth 
year of their age. In all small towns, in the country especially, 
children observe from earliest years the mating of birds, the copulation 
of domestic animals; they see this in closest proximity, in the yard, on 
the street, and when the cattle are turned loose. They see that the 
conditions under which the heat of the cattle is gratified, as well as 
the act of birth of the several domestic animals are made the subject of 
serious, thorough and undisguised discussion on the part of their 
parents, elder brothers and servants. All that awakens doubts in the 
child's mind on the accounts given him of his own entry into life. 
Finally the day of knowledge does come; but it comes in a way other than 
it would have come under a natural and rational education. The secret 
that the child discovers leads to estrangement between child and 
parents, particularly between child and mother. The reverse is obtained 

222 



of that which was aimed at in folly and shortsightedness. He who 
recalls his own youth and that of his young companions knows what the 
results frequently are. 

An American woman says, among other things in a work written by her, 
that wishing to answer the repeated questions of her eight-year-old son 
on his origin, and unwilling to saddle him with nursery tales, she 
disclosed the truth to him. The child listened to her with great 
attention, and, from the day that he learned what cares and pains he had 
caused his mother, he clung to her with a tenderness and reverence not 
noticed in him before, and showed the same reverence toward other women 
also. 158 The authoress proceeds from the correct premises that only by 
means of a natural education can any real improvement— more respect and 
self-control on the part of the male toward the female sex— be expected. 
He who reasons free from prejudice will arrive at no other conclusion. 

Whatever be the point of departure in the critique of our social 
conditions, the conclusion is ever the same— their radical 
transformation; thereby a radical transformation in the position of the 
sexes is inevitable. Woman, in order to arrive all the quicker at the 
goal, must look for allies whom, in the very nature of things, the 
movement of the working class steers in her direction. [For a long time] has 
the class-conscious proletariat begun the storming of the fortress, the 
Class-state, which also upholds the present domination of one sex by the 
other. That fortress must be surrounded on all sides with trenches, and 
assailed to the point of surrender with artillery of all calibre. The 
besieging army finds its officers and munitions on all sides. Social and 
natural science, jointly with historical research, pedagogy, hygiene and 
statistics are advancing from all directions, and furnish ammunition and 
weapons to the movement. Nor does philosophy lag behind. In 
Mainlaender's "The Philosophy of Redemption," 159 it announces the 
[imminent] realization of the "Ideal state." 

The ultimate conquest of the Class-state and its transformation is 
rendered all the easier to us through the divisions in the ranks of its 
defenders, who, despite the oneness of their interests against the 
common enemy, are perpetually at war with one another in the strife for 
plunder. Further aid comes to us from the daily-growing mutiny in the 
ranks of the enemies, whose forces to a great extent are bone of our 
bone, and flesh of our flesh— elements that, out of misunderstanding and 
misled, have hitherto fought against us and thus against themselves, but 
are gradually becoming clearsighted, and pass over to us. Finally we are 
aided by the desertion of the honorable elements from the ranks of the 
hitherto hostile men of thought, who have perceived the truth, and whose 
higher knowledge spurs them to leap their low class interests, and, 
following their ideal aspirations after justice, join the masses that 
are thirsting for freedom. 

223 



Many do not yet realize the stage of dissolution that state and society 
are in. Hence, and although the dark blotches have been frequently 
pointed out in the preceding chapters, a separate treatment of the 
subject is requisite. 



224 



CHAPTER VI. 

THE STATE AND SOCIETY. 

During the last few decades and in all countries of civilization, the 
economic life of society has assumed an uncommonly rapid pace of 
development, a development that every progress on any held of human 
activity adds swing to. Our social relations have thereby been thrown 
into a state of unrest, fermentation and dissolution never known before. 
The ruling classes no longer feel the ground safe under them, nor do 
existing institutions any longer possess the firmness requisite to 
breast the storm that is approaching from all sides. A feeling of 
uneasiness, of insecurity and of dissatisfaction has seized upon all 
circles, high and low. The paroxysmal efforts put forth by the ruling 
classes to end this unbearable state of things by means of tinkering at 
the body social prove themselves vain and inadequate. The general sense 
of increasing insecurity, that comes from these failures, increases 
their uneasiness and discomfort. Hardly have they inserted a beam in the 
shape of some law into the rickety structure, than they discover ten 
other places where shoring is still more urgent. All along they are at 
perpetual strife among themselves and deeply rent by differences of 
opinion. What one set deems necessary, in order somewhat to calm and 
reconcile the increasingly discontented masses, the other considers as 
going too far, and unpardonable weakness and pliancy, only calculated to 
prick the longing after greater concessions. Striking evidences thereof 
are the debates in the 1894-5 sessions of the Reichstag, both on the 
floor of the house and in committee, on the so-called "revolutionary 
bill," as w r ell as numerous other discussions in all parliaments. Within 
the ruling classes themselves there exist unbridgeable contrasts, and 
they sharpen the social conflicts. 

Governments— and not in Germany alone— are shaking like reeds in the 
wind. They must lean on something: without support they cannot exist: 
they now lean on this side, then on that. In no progressive country of 
Europe is there a Government with a lasting parliamentary majority, on 
which it can count with safety. Majorities are breaking up and 
dissolving; and the ever changing course, in Germany, especially, 
undermines the last vestige of confidence that the ruling class had in 
themselves. To-day one set is anvil, the other the hammer; to-morrow it 
is the other w r ay. The one tears down what the other painfully builds up. 
The confusion is ever greater; the discontent ever more lasting; the 
causes of friction multiply and consume in a few r months more energies 
than years did formerly. Along with all that, material sacrifices, 
called for by manifold taxes, sw r ell beyond all measure. 

In the midst of all this, our sapient statesmen are lulling themselves 
in wondrous illusions. With an eye to sparing property and the rich, 

225 



forms of taxation are selected that smite the needy classes heaviest, 
and they are decreed with the belief that, seeing a large portion of the 
masses have not yet discovered their real nature, neither will they be 
felt. This is an error. The masses to-day understand fully the nature of 
indirect imports and taxes upon the necessaries of life. Their growing 
political education and perspicuity disclose to them the gross injustice 
of the same; and they are all the more sensitive to these burdens by 
reason of the wretchedness of their economic conditions, especially 
where families are large. The rise of prices in the necessaries of 
life— [because of] indirect imposts, or to causes that bring on similar 
results, such as the premiums on brandy and sugar that, to the amount of 
dozens of millions, a part of the ruling class pockets yearly at the 
expense of the poor of the kingdom, and that it seeks to raise still 
higher— are realized to be a gross injustice, a heavy burden, measures 
that stand in odd contradiction with the nature of the so-called 
Christian state, the state of Social Reform. These measures extinguish 
the last spark of faith in the sense of justice of the ruling classes, 
to a degree that is serious to these. It changes nothing in the final 
effect of these measures that the draining is done in pennies. The 
increase in the expenditure is there, and is finally sensible to the 
feeling and the sight of all. Hundreds upon hundreds of millions cannot 
be squeezed out of practically empty pockets, without the owners of the 
pockets becoming aware of the lifting. The strong pressure of direct 
taxation, directs the dissatisfaction among the poor against the state; 
the still stronger indirect taxation, directs the discontent against 
society also, the evil being felt to be of a social as well as political 
chaiacter. In that there is progress. Him whom the gods would destroy, 
they first make blind. 

In the endeavor to do justice to the most opposed interests, laws are 
heaped upon laws; but no old one is thoroughly repealed, nor new one 
thoroughly enforced. Everything is done by halves, giving satisfaction 
in no direction. The requirements of civilization that spring from the 
life of the people, demand some attention, unless everything is to be 
risked; even the fractional way they are attended to, demands 
considerable sacrifice, all the more seeing that our public institutions 
are overrun by parasites. At the same time, not only are all the 
unproductive institutions, wholly at variance with the trend of 
civilization, continued in force, but, [because of] the existing conflicts of 
interests, they are rather enlarged, and thus they become all the more 
burdensome and oppressive in the measure that increasing popular 
intelligence ever more loudly pronounces them superfluous. Police, 
armies, courts of law r , prisons, the wriole administrative apparatus— all 
are enlarged ever more, and become ever more expensive. And yet neither 
external nor internal security is obtained. The reverse follows. 

A wholly unnatural state of things has gradually arisen in the 

226 



international relations of the several nations. The relations between 
nation and nation multiply in the measure that the production of goods 
increases; that, thanks to improved transportation, the exchange of this 
mass of merchandise is facilitated; and that the economic and scientific 
achievements of each become the public possession of all. Treaties of 
commerce are concluded; expensive routes of traffic— Suez Canals, St. 
Gotthard Tunnels— are opened with international funds. Individual 
countries support with heavy subsidies steamship lines that help to 
promote intercourse between several nations. The Postal Union— a step of 
first rank in civilization— is established; international conventions 
are convoked for all imaginable practical and scientific purposes; the 
literary products of genius of any nation are spread abroad by 
translations into the leading languages. Thus the tendency is ever more 
strongly marked toward the internationalizing, the fraternizing of all 
peoples. Nevertheless, the political, the military state of the nations 
of Europe stands in strange contrast to this general development. The 
hatred of nation against nation, Chauvinism, is artificially nourished 
by all. The ruling classes seek everywhere to keep green the belief that 
it is the peoples who are hostilely inclined toward one another, and 
only wait for the moment when one of them may fall upon another and 
destroy it. The competitive struggle between the capitalists of several 
countries, together with their jealousy of one another, assume upon the 
international field the character of a struggle between the capitalists 
of one country against those of another, and, backed by the political 
blindness of the large masses, it conjures into existence a contest of 
military armaments such as the world has never seen before. This contest 
has brought forth armies of magnitudes that never were known; it 
produced implements of murder and destruction for land and naval warfare 
of such perfection as is possible only in an age of such advanced 
technique as ours. The contest drives these antagonisms to a head, it 
incites a development of means of destruction that finally destroy 
themselves. The support of the armies and navies demand sacrifices that 
yearly become larger, and that finally ruin the richest nation. Germany, 
for instance, had, according to the imperial budget of 1894-95, a 
regular army and navy outlay of nearly 700 million marks— inclusive of 
pensions and of interest on the national debt, which amounts in round 
figures to two milliards, incurred mainly for purposes of war. Under 
these war expenses, the appropriations for educational and other 
purposes of culture suffer severely; the most pressing needs in this 
direction are neglected; and that side of the state, devoted to 
so-called external defence, acquires a preponderance that undermines the 
original purpose of the state itself. The increasing armies absorb the 
healthiest and most vigorous portion of the nation; for their 
improvement all mental and physical forces are enlisted in a way as if 
education in mass-murder were the highest mission of our times. 
Furthermore, implements of war as of murder are continuously improved: 
they have attained— in point of swiftness, range and power— a perfection 

227 



that renders them fearful to friend and foe. If some day this tremendous 

apparatus is set in operation— when the hostile forces of Europe will 

take the held with twelve or fourteen million men— the fact will appear 

that it has become uncontrollable. There is no general who could command 

such masses; there is no held vast enough to collect and set them up; 

no administrative apparatus that could nourish them for any length of 

time. If battles are delivered, hospitals w r ould be lacking to shelter 

the wounded: the interment of the numerous dead w r ould be an 

impossibility. 

When to all this is added the frightful disturbances and devastations, 
produced to-day by a European wai' on the economic-held, there is no 
exaggeration in the saying: "the next war is the last war." The number 
of bankruptcies will be unparalleled; export stops— and thereby 
thousands of factories are condemned to idleness; the supply of food 
ceases— and thereby the prices of the means of life rise enormously. The 
number of families whose breadwinner is in the held rims up into the 
millions, and most of them must be supported. Whence shall the means 
come for all that? 

The political and military state of Europe has taken a development that 
cannot choose but end in a catastrophe, which will drag capitalist 
society down to its ruin. Having reached the height of its development, 
it produces conditions that end with rendering its own existence 
impossible; it digs its own grave; it slays itself with the identical 
means that itself, as the most revolutionary of all previous social 
systems, has called into life. 

Gradually a large portion of our municipalities are arriving at a 

desperate pass: they hardly know r how r to meet the increasing demands upon 

themselves. It is more particularly upon our rapidly growing large 

cities, and upon the localities situated in industrial districts, that 

the quickened increase of population makes a mass of demands, which the 

generally poor communities can come up to only by raising taxes and 

incurring debts. The budgets leap upward from year to year for school 

buildings, and street paving, for lighting, draining and w r ater w r orks; 

for sanitary, public and educational purposes; for the police and the 

administration. At the same time, the favorably situated minority makes 

the most expensive demands upon the community. It demands higher 

institutions of education, theatres, the opening of particularly fine 

city quarters with lighting, pavement, etc., to match. How r ever justly 

the majority may complain of the preference, it lies in the very nature 

of modern affairs. The minority has the pow r er and uses it to satisfy its 

social w r ants as much as possible at the expense of the collectivity. In 

and of themselves nothing can be said against these heightened social 

w r ants: they denote progress; the fault is only that their satisfaction 

falls mainly to the lot of the property classes, while all others should 

228 



share them. A further evil lies ill that often the administration is not 
the best, and yet is expensive. The officials often are inadequate; they 
are not sufficiently equipped for the many-sided demands made upon them, 
demands that often presuppose thorough knowledge. The members of 
Aldermanic Boards have generally so much to do and to attend to in their 
own private affairs that they are unable to make the sacrifices demanded 
for the full exercise of these public duties. Often are these posts used 
for the promotion of private interests, to the serious injury of those 
of the community. The results fall upon the taxpayers. Modern society 
cannot think of undertaking a thorough change in these conditions. It is 
powerless and helpless. It would have to remove itself, and that, of 
course, it will not. Whatever the manner in which taxes be imposed, 
dissatisfaction increases steadily. In a few decades, most of our 
municipalities will be unable to satisfy their needs under their present 
form of administration and of raising revenues. On the municipal as well 
as on the national field, the need of a radical change is manifest: it 
is upon the municipalities that the largest social demands are made: it 
is society in mice: it is the kernel from which, so soon as the will 
and the power shall be there, the social change will radiate. How can 
justice be done to-day, when private interests dominate and the 
interests of the commonweal are made subservient? 

Such, in short, is the state of things in the nation and in the 
municipality. They are both but the reflection of the economic life of 
society. 



The struggle for existence in our economic life grows daily more 
gigantic. The war of all against all has broken out with virulence; it 
is conducted pitilessly, often regardless of the weapon used. The 
well-known French expression: " ote-toi de la, que je my mette" (get 
away, that I may step in) is carried out in practice with vigorous 
elbowings, cuffings, and pinchings. The weaker must yield to the 
stronger. Where physical strength— which here is the power of money, of 
property— does not suffice, the most cunning and unworthy means are 
resorted to. Lying, swindle, deceit, forgery, perjury— the very blackest 
crimes are often committed in order to reach the coveted object. As in 
this struggle for existence one individual transgresses against the 
other, the same happens with class against class, sex against sex, age 
against age. Profit is the sole regulator of human feelings; all other 
considerations must yield. Thousands upon thousands of workingmen and 
working-women are, the moment profit demands it, thrown upon the 
sidewalk, and, after their last savings have been spent, turned to 
public charity or forced to emigrate. Workingmen travel, so to speak, in 
herds from place to place, criss-cross across the country, and are 
regarded by "decent" society with all the more fear and horror, seeing 

229 



that the continuity of their enforced idleness deteriorates their 
external appearance, and, as a consequence, demoralizes them internally. 
Decent society has no inkling of what it means to be forced, for months 
at a stretch, to be denied the simplest exigencies of order and 
cleanliness, to wander from place to place with a hungry stomach, and to 
earn, generally, nothing but ill-concealed fear and contempt, especially 
from those quarters that are the very props of this system. The families 
of these wretches suffer all along utmost distress— a distress that not 
infrequently drives the parents, out of desperation, to frightful crimes 
upon their own children and themselves. The last years have furnished 
numerous shocking instances of whole families falling a prey to murder 
and suicide. Let one instance do for many. The private correspondent, 

S , in Berlin, 45 years of age, with a still handsome wife 39 years 

old, and a daughter of 1 2, is without w r ork and starving. The wife 
decides, with the consent of her husband, to turn prostitute. The police 
gets wind thereof. The wife is placed under moral control. The family, 
overcome with shame and desperate, agree, all three, to poison 
themselves, and cany out their resolve on March 1, 1883. 160 A few r 
days before, the leading circles of Berlin celebrated great court 
festivities at which hundreds of thousands w r ere squandered. 

Such are the shocking contrasts of modern society— and yet w r e live in 
"the best of all possible w r orlds." Berlin has since then often witnessed 
the holocaust of whole families [because of] material w r ant. In 1894 the 
spectacle w r as frequent, to an extent that called forth general horror; 
nor are the instances few r , reported from large and small towns within 
and without Germany. This murder and suicide of whole families is a 
phenomenon peculiar to modern times, and an eloquent sign of the sorry 
economic state that society is in. 

This general w r ant also drives women and girls in increasing numbers into 
the amis of prostitution. Demoralization and crime are heaped up, and 
assume the most manifold forms. The only thing that prospers is the 
jails, penitentiaries and so-called houses of correction, no longer able 
to accommodate the mass that is sent to them. The crimes of all sorts 
and their increase are intimately connected with the economic state of 
society— a fact, however, that the latter will not have. Like the 
ostrich, it sticks its head in the sand, to avoid having to admit the 
incriminating state of things, and it lies to the point of deceiving 
itself into the belief that the fault lies with the laziness of the 
w r orkingmen, with their love of pleasure, and with their irreligiousness. 
This is a self-deception of the most dangerous, or a hypocrisy of the 
most repulsive, sort. The more unfavorable the state of society is for 
the majority, all the more numerous and serious are the crimes 
committed. The struggle for existence assumes its rudest and most 
violent aspect: it transfers man into conditions where each sees a 
mortal enemy in the other. The social bonds become looser every 

230 



1 161 

day. 

The ruling classes, who do not probe matters to the bottom, or do not 
like to, seek to meet the evil after their own fashion. If poverty and 
want, and, as a result therefrom, demoralization and crime increase, the 
source of the evil is not searched after, so that it may be stopped; no; 
the products of the conditions are punished. The more gigantic the evils 
grow, and the numbers of evil-doers multiply in proportion, 
proportionately severe penalties and persecutions are deemed necessary. 
It is sought to drive out the devil with Beelzebub. Prof. Haeckel also 
considers it proper to proceed against criminals with the severest 
punishments possible, and that capital punishment, in particular, be 
stringently applied. 162 By this stand the Professor places himself in 
sweet accord with the re-actionists of all shades, who otherwise are 
mortally opposed to him. Haeckel is of the opinion that incorrigible 
scape-graces must be uprooted like weeds that take from plants light, 
air and space. Had Haeckel turned his mind slightly toward social, 
instead of engaging it wholly with natural science, he would know that 
these criminals could, in most instances, be transformed into useful 
members of human society, provided society offered them the requisite 
conditions of existence. He would also find that the annihilation of 
individual criminals or the rendering of them harmless, prevents as 
little the commission of fresh crimes in society, as the removal of 
weeds on a field would prevent their returning if the roots and seeds 
are not likewise destroyed. Absolutely to prevent the forming of harmful 
organisms in nature is a feat man never will be able to achieve but to 
so improve liis own social system, a system produced byliimself, that it 
may afford favorable conditions of life for all, and furnish to each 
equal freedom to unfold, to the end that they no longer need suffer 
hunger, or be driven to satisfy their desire for property, or their 
ambition at the expense of others— that is possible. Let the cause of 
the crimes be studied, and let that be removed; then will the crimes 
themselves be wiped out. 163 

Those who would remove crimes by removing the causes thereof, cannot, as 
a matter of course, sympathize with a plan of brutal suppression. They 
cannot prevent society from protecting itself after its own fashion 
against the criminals, whom it cannot allow a free hand; but we demand 
all the more urgently the radical reformation of society, i.e., the 
removal of the causes of crime. 

The connection between social conditions, on the one hand, and evildoing 
and crimes, on the other, has been frequently established by 
statisticians and sociologists. One of the misdemeanors nearest at 
hand— one that, all Christian charitable tenets to the contrary 
notwithstanding, modern society regards as a misdemeanor— is begging, 
especially during hard times. On that subject, the statistics of the 

231 



Kingdom of Saxony inform us that, in the measure in which the last 
industrial crisis increased— a crisis that began in Germany in 1890, and 
whose end is not yet in sight— the number of persons also increased who 
were punished for begging. In 1 889, there were 8,566 persons punished 
for this crime in the Kingdom of Saxony; in 1890, there were 8,815; in 

1891, there were 10,075; and in 1892 the figures rose to 13,120— quite 
an increase. Mass-impoverishment on one side, swelling affluence on the 
other— such is the sign-manual of our age. In Austria, in 1873, there 

was one pauper to every 724 persons; in 1882, to every 622 persons. 
Crimes and misdemeanors show similar tendency. In Austria-Hungary, in 
1874, there were 308,605 persons sentenced in the criminal courts; in 

1892, their number was 600,000. In the German Empire, in 1882, there 
were 329,968 persons sentenced for crimes and misdemeanors under the 
laws of the land; that is to say, to every 10,000 inhabitants of twelve 
years and over there were 103.2 criminals; in 1892, the number of 
criminals was 422,327, or 143.3— an increase of 39 per cent. Among the 
persons punished, there were, for crimes and misdemeanors against 
property:— 

To Every 10,000 In- 
habitants, 12 Years 
Year. Total. of Age and Over. 

1882 169,334 53.0 

1801 190,437 65.8 

We think these figures speak volumes. They show how the deterioration of 
social conditions intensify and promote poverty, want, misdemeanors and 
crimes. 

The basis of our social state is the capitalist system of production. On 
it modern society rests. All social, all political institutions are 
results and fruits of that system. It is the ground from which the whole 
social and political superstructure, together with its bright and dark 
sides, have sprung up. It influences and dominates the thoughts and 
feelings and actions of the people who live under it. Capital is the 
leading power in the state and in society: the capitalist is the ruler 
of the propertyless, whose labor-power he buys for his use, and at a 
price, that, like all other merchandise, is governed by supply and 
demand and oscillates now above, then below the cost of reproduction. 
But the capitalist does not buy labor-power out of "sweet charity," in 
order to do a favor to the workingmen, although he often so pretends. He 
buys it for the purpose of obtaining surplus wealth from the labor of 
the workingmen, which he then pockets under the name of profit, 
interest, house and ground rent. This surplus wealth, squeezed out of 
the workingmen, and which in so far as the capitalist does not squander 
it in dissipation, crystallizes in his hands into more capital, puts him 
in a condition to steadily enlarge his plant, improve the process of 
production, and occupy increased labor forces. That, at the same time, 



232 



enables him to step up before his weaker competitors, like a mailed 
knight before an unarmed pedestrian, and to destroy them. This unequal 
struggle between large and small capital spreads amain, and, as the 
cheapest labor-power, next to that of children and lads, woman plays 
therein a role of increasing importance. The result is the ever 
sharper division of a smaller minority of mighty capitalists and a mass 
of capital-less male and female lack-alls whose only resource is the 
daily sale of their labor-power. The middle class arrives hereby at a 
plight that grows ever graver. One field of industry after another, 
where small production still predominated, is seized and occupied to 
capitalist ends. The competition of capitalists among themselves compels 
them to explore ever newer fields of exploitation. Capital goes about 
"like a roaring lion, seeking whom it may devour." The smaller and 
weaker establishments are destroyed; if their owners fail to save 
themselves upon some new field— a feat that becomes ever harder and less 
possible— then they sink down into the class of the wage earners, or of 
Catilinarians. All efforts to prevent the downfall of handicraft and of 
the middle class by means of institutions and laws, borrowed from the 
lumber-room of the musty past, prove utterly ineffective. They may 
enable one or another to deceive himself on his actual condition; but 
soon the illusion vanishes under the heavy weight of facts. The process 
of absorption of the small by the large takes its course with all the 
power and pitilessness of a law of nature, and the process is sensible 
to the feeling and the sight of all. 

In the period between 1875-1882, the number of small industries 
decreased in Prussia by 39,655, 161 although the population increased 
in this period by about two million heads. The number of workmen 
employed in small industries sank, during that time, from 57.6 per 
cent., to 54.9 per cent. The industrial statistics for 1895 will furnish 
much more drastic figures. The development of large production stands in 
close relation to the development of steam machine and steam 
horse-power. And what is the picture presented by these? Prussia had:— 

1878. 1893. 

Stationary steam boilers. .. .32,411 53,024 + 63.0 percent. 

Stationary steam engines. . . .29,895 53,092 + 77.6 percent. 

Movable machines 5,636 15,725 + 184 per cent. 

The Kingdom of Saxony had:— 

1861. 1891. 

Stationary steam engines.... 1,003 8,075 +700 per cent. 

Horse-power 15,633 160,772 +922 per cent. 

In 1861, a steam engine in Saxony had, on an average, a 15.5 
horse-power; in 1891, it had 19. All Germany had in 1878 about three 
million horse-power in operation in industry; in 1894, about five 
million. Austria had in 1873 in round figures 336,000 horse-power; in 



233 



1888, about 2,150,000. Steam power spreads daily, and stronger steam 
machines drive out weaker ones— large production drives out small. The 
fact is shown emphatically in the industries in which steam has become 
the general power, the brewery industry, for instance. In the German 
brewery tax department, exclusive of Bavaria, Wuertemburg, Baden and 
Alsace-Lorraine, there were:— 

Breweries Industrially 

Year. in Operation. Operated. Output. 

1873 13,661 10,927 19,654,900 hi. 

1891-2 8,460 7,571 33,171,100 hi. 



5,101 3,356 13,616,200 hi. 

Decrease Decrease Increase 

= 38 per cent. =-=31.1 per cent. = 68.8 per cent. 

The breweries in general, this table shows, had decreased during this 
period 38 per cent., the industrially operated ones 31.1 per cent.; the 
output, however, had increased 68.8 per cent. The giant concerns 
increased at the expense of the middle and small ones. The identical 
development is going on in all countries of civilization, in all 
industries capitalistically operated. Let us now take up the brandy 
distilleries. In all the eight provinces of Prussia, there were in 

, • 165 

operation:— 

Consumed in Distillery, 
Year. Distilleries. Brandy ( Double Quintal ) . 

1831 13,806 1,736,458 5,418,217 

1886-87 6,814 2,618,478 24,310,196 



7,992 782,020 18,891,979 

Decrease Decrease Increase 

= 38 per cent. = 31.1 per cent. == 68 per cent. 

Similar results are revealed in the coal and the mineral mining 
industries of the German Empire. In the former, the number of leading 
concerns— 623 in number between the years 1871-1875— chopped to 406 in 
1889, but the output increased simultaneously from 34,485,400 tons to 
67,342,200 tons, and the average number of employees rose from 172,074 
to 239,954. In the latter, the average number of leading establishments 
between 1871-1875, was 3,034, with an average force of 277,878 hands, 
that turned out 51,056,900 tons; in 1889, the number of leading 
establishments had dropped to 1,962, while the average force had risen 
to 368,896 hands, and the output to 99,414,100 tons. 166 We see that 
in the coal mine industry the number of concerns decreased during that 
period 35 per cent., while the number of employees rose 40 per cent., 
and production as much as 95.2 per cent. Similarly in the mineral mining 
industry. Here the number of establishments decreased 35.3 per cent., 
while the number of workingmen employed rose 33 per cent., and 
production 94.7 per cent. A smaller but much richer number of employers 
now confronted a greatly swollen number of proletarians. Nor does this 
technical revolution proceed in industry alone: it is also going on in 



234 



the department of transportation and communication. German commerce had 
upon the seas:— 

Sailing 

Year. Vessels. Tonnage. Crews. 

1871 4.372 900,361 34,739 

180S 2,742 725,182 17,522 



1,630 175,179 17,217 

Decrease. Decrease. Decrease. 

Sail navigation, we see, declines perceptibly, but in so far as it 
continues to exist, the tonnage of vessels increases, and the force of 
the crews decreases. In 1871, there came to eveiy one sailing vessel 
205.9 tons and 7.9 crew, in 1893, however, the average tonnage per 
sailing vessel was 271.7 and only a crew 6.4 strong. A different picture 
is offered by the German ocean steamship navigation. Germany had:— 

Year. Steamers. Tonnage. Crews. 

1871 147 81,994 4,736 

1893 986 786,397 24,113 



Increase 839 704,403 19,377 

We see that, not only did the number of steamers rise considerably, but 
that their tonnage increased still more; on the other hand, the force of 
the crews had relatively decreased. In 1871, steamers had on an average 
a 558 tonnage, with a 32.1 crew; in 1893 they had a 797.5 tonnage and 
only a 24.5 crew. It is an economic law that the number of workingmen 
decreases everywhere with the concentration of industry, while, 
relatively to the whole population, wealth concentrates in ever fewer 
hands, and the number of employers, rendered unable to hold their own 
and driven into bankruptcy by the process of concentration, mounts ever 
higher. 

In the eight old provinces of Prussia, the population increased 42 per 
cent, during 1853-1890. But the incomes in the several grades rose in 
the following rates:— 16 ' 

Incomes. Increased. 

Up to 3,000 marks 42 per cent,. 

3,000 — 36,000 marks 333 per cent. 

36,000 — 60,000 marks 590 per cent. 

60,000 — 120,000 marks 835 per cent. 

Over 120,000 marks 942 per cent. 

The number of incomes up to 3,000 marks increased exactly with the 
population; it would, however, have lagged behind it if, within the 
period of 1853-1890, there had not been an extraordinary increase of 
national, state, municipal and private officials, the large majority of 
whose incomes falls below 3,000 marks. On the other hand, the number of 
large incomes has risen beyond all proportion, although, during the 
period under consideration, there was not yet any provision in Prussia 

235 



making the correct estimate of incomes obligatory. This was introduced 
in 1891. The actual increase of incomes was, accordingly, much larger 
than the figures indicate. As stated before, the concentration of 
wealth, on the one side, is paralleled with mass-proletarianization, on 
the other, and also with swelling figures of bankruptcy. During the 
period of 1880-1889, the number of bankruptcy cases, adjudicated by law, 
averaged, in Germany, 4,885 a year; it rose to 5,908 in 1890; to 7,234 
in 1891; and to 7,358 in 1892. These figures do not include the large 
number of bankruptcies that did not reach the courts, the assets not 
being large enough to cover the costs; neither are included among them 
those that were settled out of court between the debtors and their 
creditors. 

The same picture that is presented by the economic development of 
Germany is presented by that of all industrial countries of the world. 
All nations of civilization are endeavoring to become industrial states. 
They wish to produce, not merely for the satisfaction of their own 
domestic wants, but also for exportation. Hence the absolute propriety 
of no longer speaking of "national" but of "international" economy. It 
is the world's market that now regulates the price of numberless 
products of industry and agriculture, and that controls the social 
position of nations. The productive domain, that, in the near future, 
will dominate the world's market is that of the United States— a quarter 
from which is now proceeding the principal impetus toward 
revolutionizing the relations of the world's market, and, along 
therewith, all bourgeois society. According to the census of 1890, the 
capital invested in industry in the United States has risen to 6,524 
million dollars, as against 2,790 million in 1880, an increase of 136 
per cent. The value of the industrial products rose during that period 
from 5,369 million dollars to 9,370 million, or 75 per cent, in round 
figures, while the population increased only 25 per cent. 168 The 
United States has reached a point of development where it must export a 
large mass of products in order to be able to continue producing in 
sufficient quantities. Instead of importing articles of industry from 
Europe, these will henceforth be exported in large volumes, thereby 
upsetting commercial relations everywhere. What pass has been reached 
there is indicated by the mammoth struggles between Capital and Labor, 
by the distress of the masses that has lasted years, and by the colossal 
increase of bankruptcy during the last crisis. In 1879, 1880 and 1881 
the sum absorbed in bankruptcies ran up to 82 million dollars in round 
figures; in 1890 the amount was 190 million dollars, and in 1891 it rose 
to 331 million dollars. An instance will illustrate the gigantic measure 
of the concentration of capital in that country. In 1870, there were in 
the United States 2,819 woolen mills, in which 96 million dollars were 
invested as capital; in 1 890 the number of these mills had sunk to 
1,312, but the capital invested had risen to 136 million. In 1870, on an 
average, $34,000 sufficed to establish a woolen mill; in 1890, not less 

236 



than $102,000 was requisite. The increased demands upon capital forces 
the building of stock corporations, which, in turn, promote the 
concentration still more. Where the powers of a single capitalist do not 
suffice, several of them join; they appoint technical overseers, who are 
well paid, and they pocket, in the form of dividends, the profits which 
the workingmen must raise. The restlessness of industry reaches its 
classic form in the stock corporation, which demonstrates how useless 
the person of the capitalist has become as a leader of industry. 

Seeing that this process of development and concentration is proceeding 
equally in all leading countries, the inevitable results of the anarchic 
method of production is "over-production," the stoppage of trade, the 
crisis. 

Accordingly, the crisis is a consequence of the absence of any means 
whatever whereby at any time the actual demand for certain goods can be 
gauged and controlled. There is no power in bourgeois society able to 
regulate production as a whole; the customers are spread over too vast 
an area; then also, their purchasing power, upon which depends their 
power of consumption, is affected by a number of causes, beyond the 
control of the individual producer. Moreover, along with each individual 
producer, are a number of others, whose productive powers and actual 
yield also are unknown to him. Each strives, with all the means at his 
command— cheap prices, advertisements, long credit, drummers, also 
secret and crafty detraction of the quality of the goods of his 
competitor, the last of which is a measure that flourishes particularly 
at critical moments— to drive all other competitors from the field. 
Production is wholly left to accident and to the judgment of 
individuals. Accident often is more unfavorable than otherwise. Every 
capitalist must produce a certain quantity of goods, in order that he 
may exist; he is, however, driven to increase his output, partly because 
his increase of revenues depends upon that, partly also because upon 
that depend his prospects of being able to overcome his competitors, and 
keep the field all to himself. For a while, the output is safe; the 
circumstance tends to expansion and increased production. But prosperous 
times do not tempt one capitalist alone; they tempt them all. Thus 
production rises far above demand, and suddenly the market is found 
overstocked. Sales stop; prices fall; and production is curtailed. The 
curtailment of production in any one branch implies a diminished demand 
for workingmen, the lowering of wages and a retrenchment of consumption 
in the ranks of labor. A further stoppage of production and business in 
other departments is the necessary consequence. Small producers of all 
sorts— tradesmen, saloonkeepers, bakers, butchers, etc.,— whose 
customers are chiefly workingmen, lose the profitable sale of their 
goods and likewise land in distress. 

The way in which such a crisis works appears from a census on the 

237 



unemployed which the Social Democratic Party of Hamburg undertook on 
February 14, 1894. Of 53,756 workingmen who were interrogated, and of 
whom 34,647 were married, with an aggregate family dependence of 
138,851, there were 18,422 who, during the last year, had been idle a 
total of 191,013 weeks; 5,084 persons had been idle from 1 to 5 weeks; 
8,741 from 6 to 10 weeks; 1,446 from 11 to 15 weeks; 984 from 16 to 20 
weeks; 2,167 more than 20 weeks. These are workingmen, who wished to 
work, but who, in this best of all possible worlds, could find no work. 
The sorry plight of these people may be imagined. 

Again, one industry furnishes its raw material to another; one depends 
upon the other; it follows that all must suffer and pay for the blows 
that fall upon any. The circle of participants and sufferers spreads 
ever wider. A number of obligations, assumed in the hope of a long 
continuance of prosperity, cannot be met, and thus new fuel is added to 
the conflagration of the crisis, whose flames rise higher from month to 
month. An enormous mass of stored-up goods, tools, machinery, becomes 
almost worthless. The goods are got rid of at great sacrifices. Not only 
their proprietor is thereby ruined, but also dozens of others who are 
thereby likewise forced to give up their goods under cost. During the 
crisis itself, the method of production is all along improved with the 
view of meeting future competition; but this only prepares the ground 
for new and still worse crises. After the crisis has lasted years, after 
the surplusage of goods has been gradually done away with through sales 
at ruinous prices, through retrenchment of production, and through the 
destruction of smaller concerns, society slowly begins to recover again. 
Demand rises, and production follows suit— slowly at first and cautiously, 
but, with the continuance of prosperity, the old vertigo sets in anew. 
Everyone is anxious to recover what he lost, and expects to be under 
cover before the next crisis breaks in. Nevertheless, seeing that all 
capitalists foster the identical thought, and that each one improves his 
plant so as to head off the others, the catastrophe is soon brought on 
again and with all the more fatal effect. Innumerable establishments 
rise and fall like balls at a game, and out of such continuous ups and 
downs flows the wretched state of things that is witnessed at all 
crises. These crises crowd upon one another in the measure that large 
production increases, and the competitive struggle— not between 
individuals only, but between whole nations— becomes sharper. The 
scampering for customers, on a small scale, and for markets on a large 
one, gains in fierceness, and ends finally in great losses. Goods and 
implements are heaped mountain high, yet the masses of the people suffer 
hunger and want. 

The autumn of the year 1890 brought new proof of the correctness of 
this outline. After a long series of years of business depression, 
during which, however, large capitalist development was steadily 
progressing, an improvement in our economic life set in during 1887-8, 

238 



stimulated in no slight degree by the extensive changes introduced in 

our army and navy systems. The upward movement continued during 1889 and 

up into the first quarter of 1890. During this period, a number of new 

establishments began to crop up everywhere in several fields of 

industry; a large number of others were enlarged and improved to the 

highest point of technical perfection, and their capacity greatly 

increased. In the same measure that this large capitalist development 

progressed, a larger and ever larger number of establishments passed 

from the hands of individual capitalists into stock corporations— a 

change that ever is more or less connected with an increase of 

production. The new issues, that, as a result of these combinations and 

due also to the increase of the public debt, were contracted in the 

international money market, ran up in 1887 to about 4,000 million marks; 

in 1888, to 5,500 million; and in 1889, to even 7,000 million. On the 

other hand, the capitalists of all countries were endeavoring to 

"regulate" prices and production by means of national and international 

agreements. Rings and Trusts sprang up like mushrooms over night. The 

majority, often all the capitalists concerned in the more important 

branches of production, formed syndicates, by means of which prices were 

fixed, and production was to be regulated by the light of accurate 

statistical information. Over-production was thus to be prevented. A 

marvelous monopolization of industry, such as had never been seen, was 

thus achieved in the interest of the capitalists and at the expense of 

the workingmen, and of the consumers in general. For a while it seemed 

as if capital had come into possession of the means that enabled it to 

control the market in all directions, to the injury of the public and to 

its own greater glory. But appearances deceived. The laws of capitalist 

production proved themselves stronger than the shrewdest representatives 

of the system who imagined they held in their hands the power to 

regulate it. The crisis set in. One of the largest international 

business houses of England fell and involved a number of others in its 

fall. All exchanges and markets— of London, Paris, Vienna and Berlin, as 

far as St. Petersburg, New York and Calcutta— shook and trembled. It had 

again been shown that the profoundest calculations prove deceptive, and 

that capitalist society cannot escape its fate. 

All this notwithstanding, capitalism proceeds on its course: it can be 
no other than it is. By means of the forms that its course dictates, it 
throws all the laws of capitalist economics overboard. "Free 
competition," the Alpha and Omega of bourgeois society, is to bring the 
fittest to the top of the enterprises; but the stock corporation 
removes all individuality, and places the crown upon that combination 
that has the longest purse and the strongest grip. The syndicates, 
Trusts and rings cany the point still further. Whole branches of 
industry are monopolized; the individual capitalist becomes but a pliant 
link in a chain, held by a capitalist committee. A handful of 
monopolists set themselves up as lords of the world and dictate to it 

239 



the price of goods, to the workingmen their wages and conditions of 
life. 

The whole course of this development brings out how utterly superfluous 
the individual capitalist has become, and that production, conducted 
upon a national and international scale, is the goal toward which 
society steers— with this difference, that, in the end, this organized 
production will redound to the benefit, not of a class, but of the 
collectivity. 

The economic revolution just sketched, and which is driving bourgeois 
society with great swiftness to its apogee, becomes more pointed from 
year to year. While Europe finds itself pressed more and more in its 
foreign markets, and finally on its own territory, by the competition of 
the United States, latterly enemies have risen in the East also, 
rendering still more critical the plight of Europe, and at the same time 
threatening the United States also. This danger proceeds from the 
progress of English India toward becoming a great agricultural and 
industrial state— a progress that, in the first place, looks to the 
meeting of the wants of India's own two hundred million strong 
population, and, in the second place, develops into a mortal enemy of 
English and German industry in particular. And still another industrial 
state is beginning to rise in the East— Japan. According to the 
"Kreuzzeitimg" of February 20, 1895, "during the last ten years, Japan 
has imported from Europe the best perfected machinery for setting up 
industrial plants, especially in cotton spinning. In 1889, she had only 
35,000 spindles; now she has over 380,000. In 1889, Japan imported 31 
million pounds of raw cotton; in 1891, she imported 67 million. She is 
steadily decreasing her importations of manufactured articles, and 
increasing her importations of raw material, which she then retransports 
in the shape of manufactures. During the last year Hongkong, a European 
colony, bought over two million marks of Japanese cotton goods. The 
Japanese are providing their own markets with goods that formerly were 
imported from Europe and the United States. They are also exporting to 
Oriental markets, that were formerly provided from western sources. They 
are exporting matches and soap; they are manufacturing clothing, felt 
hats and hosiery; they have glass-blowing establishments, breweries, 
tileries, tan-yards and rope-walks." 

The further expansion of Japan's industry steadily reduces importations 
from Europe and the United States, and simultaneously places it in 
condition to turn up in the world's market as a competitor. Should 
China also, as a result of the Japanese-Chinese war, be compelled to 
open her immense territory to European culture, then, in view of the 
great adaptability and marvelous unpretentiousness of the Chinese 
workingman, another competitive power will have risen, more dangerous 
than any that the world's market has yet had to reckon with. Truly, the 

240 



future of bourgeois society is threatened from all sides with grave 
dangers, and there is no way to escape them. 

Thus the crisis becomes permanent and international. It is a result of 
all the markets being overstocked with goods. And yet, still more could 
be produced; but the large majority of people suffer want in the 
necessaries of life because they have no income wherewith to satisfy 
their wants by purchase. They lack clothing, underwear, furniture, 
homes, food for the body and mind, and means of enjoyment, all of which 
they could consume in large quantities. But all that does not exist to 
them. Hundreds of thousands of workingmen are even thrown upon the 
sidewalk, and rendered wholly unable to consume because their 
labor-power has become "superfluous'' to the capitalists. Is it not 
obvious that our social system suffers of serious ailments? How could 
there be any "over-production" when there is no lack of capacity to 
consume, i.e., of wants that crave satisfaction? Obviously, it is not 
production, in and of itself, that breeds these unhallowed conditions 
and contradictions: it is the system under wliich production is carried 
on, and the product is distributed. 



In human society, all its members are bound to one another by a thousand 
threads; and these threads are all the more numerous in proportion to a 
people's grade of culture. If disturbances set in, they are forthwith 
felt by all. Disturbances in production affect distribution and 
consumption; and lice versa. The feature of capitalist production is 
the concentration of property into ever fewer hands and into ever larger 
establishments. In distribution, on the contrary, an opposite current is 
noticeable. Whoever, [because of] the destructive effect of competition, is 
stricken from the list of independent producers, seeks, in nine cases 
out often, to squeeze himself as a dealer between the producer and the 
consumer, and thus to earn his livelihood. 

Hence the striking phenomenon of the increase of the middleman— dealers, 
shopkeepers, hucksters, commissioners, brokers, agents, saloonkeepers, 
etc. Most of these, among whom women are strongly represented, lead a 
life of worries and a needy existence. Many are compelled, in order to 
keep their heads above water, to speculate upon the lowest passions of 
man and to promote them in all manner of ways. Hence the marvelous swing 
of the most repulsive advertisements, particularly in all matters the 
object of which is the gratification of sexual pleasures. 

It is undeniable, and, viewed from a higher viewpoint, it is also 
cheering, that the current for a greater enjoyment of life runs deep in 
modern society. Man begins to understand that, in order to be human, a 
life worthy of human beings is requisite, and the feeling is expressed 

241 



in such form as corresponds with the respective conceptions of the 
enjoyment of life. As far as the distribution of its wealth is 
concerned, society has become much more aristocratic than at any 
previous period. Between the richest and the poorest, the chasm is wider 
to-day than ever before. On the other hand, with regard to its ideas and 
laws, society has become more democratic™'' Hence the masses strive 
after greater equality; and, seeing that in their ignorance they know 
not yet the path by which to attain their wishes, they seek equality in 
the imitation of the upper classes by furnishing themselves with 
whatever pleasures are within their reach. All possible artificial means 
are resorted to in order to exploit this tendency; the consequences are 
often serious. The gratification of a justified desire thus leads in a 
number of cases to wrong paths, often to crime; and society intervenes 
in its own way, without thereby improving matters in the least. 

The increasing mass of the middlemen draws many evils in its wake. 

Although this class toils arduously and works under the load of heavy 

cares, the majority aie paiasites, they are uiiproductively active, and 

they live upon the labors of others, just the same as the capitahst 

class. Higher prices is the inevitable consequence of this industry. 

Food and other goods rise in price in such manner that they often cost 

twice or many times as much as the producer received for them. 10 If 

it is thought unadvisable or impossible to materially raise the price of 

the goods, lest consumption decline, they are artificially deteriorated, 

and recourse is had to adulteration of food, and to false weights and 

measures, in order to make the requisite profits. The chemist Chevalier 

reports that he knows, among the several adulterations of food, 32 for 

coffee, 30 for wine, 28 for chocolate, 24 for meal, 23 for brandy, 20 

for bread, 19 for milk, 10 for butter, 9 for olive oil, 6 for sugar, 

etc. The Chamber of Commerce of Wesel reported in 1870 that an extensive 

system of swindle was practiced in the shops in the sale of 

ready-weighed articles: for 1 pound, 24 or 26 pennyweights were given, 

and in that way twice as much was gained as the difference in the price. 

Workingmen and small traders who get their goods on credit and who must, 

accordingly, submit, even when the fraud is obvious, fare worst of all. 

Grave abuses are also perpetrated in bakeries. Swindling and cheating 

are inseparable from our modern conditions, and certain government 

institutions, such as high indirect taxes, are direct incentives 

thereto. The law r s against the adulteration of food alter matters but 

little. The struggle for existence compels the swindlers to resort to 

ever shrew r der means, nor is there any thorough and strict inspection. 

Leading and influential circles of our ruling classes are even 

interested in the system of swindle. Under the pretext that, in order to 

discover adulterations a more comprehensive and more expensive 

administrative apparatus is required, and that "legitimate business" 

w r ould suffer thereby, almost all inspection, w r orthy of the name, is 

lamed. If, however, law r s and measures of inspection do actually 

242 



intervene, they affect a considerable rise in the price of the 
unadulterated products, seeing that the lower price was made possible 
only by adulteration. 

With the view of avoiding these evils of trade, evils that, as ever and 
everywhere, are hardest on the masses, "Consumers' Associations" have 
been set up. In Germany, the "Consumers' Association" plan, especially 
among the military and civil service employees, reaches such a point 
that numerous business houses have been ruined, and many are not far 
from the same fate. These Associations demonstrate the superfluousness 
of trade in a differently organized society. 1 ' 1 In that consists their 
principal merit. The material advantages are not great for the members; 
neither are the facilities that they offer enough to enable the members 
to discover any material improvement in their condition. Not 
infrequently is their administration poor, and the members must pay for 
it. In the hands of capitalists, these Associations even become an 
additional means to chain the workingman to the factory, and they are 
used as weapons to depress wages. The founding of these "Consumers' 
Associations" is, however, a symptom that the evils of trade and at 
least the superfluousness of the middlemen have been realized in wide 
circles. Society will reach that point of organization at which trade 
becomes wholly superfluous; the product will reach the consumer without 
the intervention of any middlemen other than those who attend to its 
transportation from place to place, and who are in the service of 
society. A natural demand, that flows from the collective procurement of 
food, is its collective preparation for the table upon a large scale, 
whereby a further and enormous saving would be made of energy, space, 
material and all manner of expenditures. 



The economic revolution in industry and transportation has spread to 
agriculture also, and in no slight degree. Commercial and industrial 
crises are felt in the country as well. Many relatives of families 
located in the country are partially or even wholly engaged in 
industrial establishments in cities, and this sort of occupation is 
becoming more and more common because the large farmers find it 
convenient to convert on their own farms a considerable portion of 
their produce. They thereby save the high cost of transporting the raw 
product— potatoes that are used for spirits, beets for sugar, grain for 
flour or brandy or beer. Furthermore, they have on their own farms 
cheaper and more willing labor than can be got in the city, or in 
industrial districts. Factories and rent are considerably cheaper, taxes 
and licenses lower, seeing that, to a certain extent, the landed 
proprietors are themselves lawgivers and law officers: from their midst 
numerous representatives are sent to the Reichstag: not infrequently 
they also control the local administration and the police department. 
These are ample reasons for the phenomenon of increasing numbers of 

243 



funnel-pipes in the country. Agriculture and industry step into ever 
closer interrelation with each other— an advantage that accrues mainly 
to the large landed estates. 

The point of capitalist development reached in Germany also by 
agriculture has partially called forth conditions similar to those found 
in England and the United States. As with the small and middle class 
industries, so likewise with the small and middle class farms, they are 
sw r allow r ed up by the large. A number of circumstances render the life of 
the small and middle class farmer ever harder, and ripen him for 
absorption by the large fellows 

No longer do the one-time conditions, as they w r ere still known a few 
decades ago, prevail in the country. Modern culture now pervades the 
country in the remotest corners. Contrary to its own purpose, militarism 
exercises a certain revolutionary influence. The enormous increase of 
the standing army w r eighs, in so far as the blood-tax is concerned, 
heaviest of all upon the country districts. The degeneration of 
industrial and city life compels the drawing of by far the larger 
portion of soldiers from the rural population. When the farmer's son, 
the day laborer, or the servant returns after two or three years from 
the atmosphere of the city and the barracks, an atmosphere not exactly 
impregnated with high moral principles;— when he returns as the carrier 
and spreader of venereal diseases, he has also become acquainted with a 
mass of new views and w r ants whose gratification he is not inclined to 
discontinue. Accordingly, he makes larger demands upon life, and w r ants 
higher w r ages; his frugality of old w r ent to pieces in the city. 
Transportation, ever more extended and improved, also contributes toward 
the increase of w r ants in the country. Through intercourse with the city, 
the rustic becomes acquainted with the w r orld from an entirely new r and 
more seductive side: he is seized with new r ideas: he learns of the w r ants 
of civilization, thitherto unknown to him. All that renders him 
discontented with his lot. On top of that, the increasing demands of the 
state, the province, the municipality hit both farmer and farmhand, and 
make them still more rebellious. 

True enough, many farm products have greatly risen in value during this 
period, but not in even measure with the taxes and the cost of living. 
On the other hand, transmarine competition in food materially 
contributes toward reducing prices: this reduces incomes: the same can 
be counterbalanced only by improved management: and nine-tenths of the 
farmers lack the means thereto. Moreover, the farmer does not get for 
his product the price paid by the city: he has to deal with the 
middlemen: and these hold him in their clutches. The broker or dealer, 
wiio at given seasons traverses the country and, as a rule, himself sells 
to other middlemen, w r ants to make his profits: the gathering of many 
small quantities gives him much more trouble than a large invoice from a 

244 



single large holder: the small farmer receives, as a consequence, less 
for his goods than the large farmer. Moreover, the quality of the 
products from the small farmer is inferior: the primitive methods that 
are there generally pursued have that effect: and that again compels the 
small farmer to submit to lower prices. Again, the farm owner or tenant 
can often not afford to wait until the price of his goods rises. He has 
payments to meet— rent, interest, taxes; he has loans to cancel and 
debts to settle with the broker and his hands. These liabilities are due 
on fixed dates: he must sell however unfavorable the moment. In order to 
improve his land, to provide for co-heirs, children, etc., the farmer 
has contracted a mortgage: he has no choice of creditor: thus his plight 
is rendered all the worse. High interest and stated payments of arrears 
give him hard blows. An unfavorable crop, or a false calculation on the 
proper crop, for which he expected a high price, cany him to the very 
brink of ruin. Often the purchaser of the crop and the mortgagee are one 
and the same person. The farmers of whole villages and districts thus 
find themselves at the mercy of a few creditors. The farmers of hops, 
wine and tobacco in Southern Germany; the truck farmers on the Rhine; 
the small farmers in Central Germany— all are in that plight. The 
mortgagee sucks them dry; he leaves them, apparent owners of a field, 
that, in point of fact, is theirs no longer. The capitalist vampire 
often finds it more profitable to farm in this way than, by seizing the 
land itself and selling it, or himself doing the farming. Thus many 
thousand farmers are carried on the registers as proprietors, who, in 
fact, are no longer such. Thus, again, many a large farmer— unskilled in 
his trade, or visited by misfortune, or who came into possession under 
unfavorable circumstances— also falls a prey to the executioner's axe of 
the capitalist. The capitalist becomes lord of the land; with the view 
of making double gains he goes into the business of "butchering 
estates:" he parcels out the domain because he can thereby get a larger 
price than if he sold it in lump: then also he has better prospects of 
plying his usurious trade if the proprietors are many and small holders. 
It is well known that city houses with many small apartments yield the 
largest rent. A number of small holders join and buy a portion of the 
parcelled-out estate: the capitalist benefactor is ready at hand to pass 
larger tracts over to them on a small cash payment, seeming the rest by 
mortgage bearing good interest. This is the milk in the cocoanut. If the 
small holder has luck and he succeeds, by utmost exertion, to extract a 
tolerable sum from the land, or to obtain an exceptionally cheap loan, 
then he can save himself; otherwise he fares as shown above. 

If a few heads of cattle die on the hands of the farm-owner or tenant, a 
serious misfortune has befallen him; if he has a daughter who marries, 
her outfit augments his debts, besides his losing a cheap labor-power; 
if a son marries, the youngster wants a piece of land or its equivalent 
in money. Often this farmer must neglect necessary improvements: if his 
cattle and household do not furnish him with sufficient manure— a not 



245 



unusual circumstance— then the yield of the farm declines, because its 
owner cannot buy fertilizers: often he lacks the means to obtain better 
seed. The profitable application of machinery is denied him: a rotation 
of crops, in keeping with the chemical composition of his farm, is often 
not to be thought of. As little can he turn to profit the advantages 
that science and experience offer him in the conduct of his domestic 
animals: the want of proper food, the want of proper stabling and 
attention, the want of all other means and appliances prevent him. 
Innumerable, accordingly, are the causes that bear down upon the small 
and middle class farmer, drive him into debt, and his head into the 
noose of the capitalist or the large holder. 

The large landholders are generally intent upon buying up the small 
holdings, and thereby "rounding up" their estates. The large capitalist 
magnates have a predilection for investments in land, this being the 
safest form of property, one, moreover, that, with an increasing 
population, rises in value without effort on the part of the owners. 
England furnishes the most striking instance of this particular increase 
of value. Although [because of] international competition in agricultural 
products and cattle-raising, the yield of the land decreased during the 
last decades, nevertheless, seeing that in Scotland two million acres 
were converted into limiting grounds, that in Ireland four million acres 
lie almost waste, that in England the area of agriculture declined from 
19,153,900 acres in 1831, to 15,651,605 in 1880, a loss of 3,484,385 
acres, which have been converted into meadow lands, rent increased 
considerably. The aggregate rent from country estates amounted, in 
pounds sterling, to:— 

Countries. 1857. 1875. 1880. Increase. 

England and Wales 41,177,200 50,125,000 52,179,381 11,002,181 

Scotland 6,032,000 7,493,000 7,778,919 1,844,919 

Ireland 8,747,000 9,293,000 10,543,000 1,796,700 



Total 55,858,200 67,911,000 70,499,300 14,643,800 

Accordingly, an increase of 26.2 per cent, within 23 years, and that 
without any effort on the part of the owners. Although, since 1880, due 
to the ever sharper international competition in food, the agricultural 
conditions of England and Ireland have hardly improved, the large 
English landlords have not yet ventured upon such large demands upon the 
population as have the continental, the German large landlords in 
particular. England knows no agricultural tariffs; and the demand for a 
minimum price, fixed by government, of such nature that they have been 
styled "price raisers" and as the large landlords of the East Elbe 
region together with their train-bands in the German Reichstag are 
insisting on at the cost of the propertyless classes, would raise in 
England a storm of indignation. 

According to the agricultural statistics gathered in Germany on June 2, 

246 



1882, the farms fell into the following categories according to size:— 

Percentage of 

Area. Farms. Total Parma. 

Under 1 hectare 2,323,316 44.03 

1 to 6 hectares 1,719,922 32.S4 

6 to 10 hectares 564,174 10.50 

lO to 20 hectares 372,431 7.06 

20 to 50 hectares 239,887 4.50 

60 to 100 hectares 41,623 0.80 

100 to 200 hectares 11,033 0.21 

200 to 500 hectares 9,814 0.18 

500 to 1,000 hectares 3,629 O.07 

1,000 hectares 515 0.01 



Total 5,276,344 99.90 

According to Koppe, a minimum of 6 hectares are requisite in Northern 
Germany for a farmer's family to barely beat itself through; in order 
to live in tolerable circumstances, 15 to 20 hectares are requisite. In 
the fertile districts of Southern Germany, 3 to 4 hectares are 
considered good ground to support a peasant family on. This minimum is 
reached in Germany by not four million farms, and only about 6 per cent, 
of the farmers have holdings large enough to enable them to get along in 
comfort. Not less than 3,222,270 farmers conduct industrial or 
commercial pursuits besides agriculture. It is a characteristic feature 
of the lands under cultivation that the farms of less than 50 
hectares— 5,200,000 in all— contained only 3,747,677 hectares of grain 
lands, whereas the farms of more than 50 hectares— 66,000 in round 
figures— contained 9,636,246 hectares. One and a quarter per cent, of 
the farms contained 2 1/2 times more grain land than the other 98-3/4 per 
cent, put together. 

And yet the picture presented by these statistics falls by far short of 
the reality. It has not been ascertained among how many owners these 
5,276,344 farms are divided. The number of owners is far smaller than 
that of the farms themselves: many are the owners of dozens of farms: it 
is in the instance of large farms, in particular, that many are held by 
one proprietor. A knowledge of the concentration of land is of the 
highest socio-political importance, yet on this point the agricultural 
statistics of 1882 leave us greatly in the lurch. A few r facts are, 
nevertheless, ascertained from other sources, and they give an 
approximate picture of the reality. The percentages of large landed 
property— over 1 00 hectares— to the aggregate agricultural property was 
as follows :— 

Provinces. Percentage. Provinces. Percentage. 

Pomerania 64.87 Brandenburg . 42.60 

Posen 61.22 Silesia 42.14 

West Prussia .... S4.41 Saxony 30.89 

East Prussia 41.79 Bchleswig-Holstein 18.03 

According to the memorial of the Prussian Minister of Agriculture, 



247 



published in the bulletin of the Prussian Bureau of Statistics, the 
number of middle class farms sank, from 354,610 with 35,260,084 acres, 
in 1816, to 344,737 rath 33,498,433 acres, in 1859. The number of these 
farms had, accordingly, decreased within that period by 9,873, and 
peasant property had been wiped out to the volume of 1,71 1,641 acres. 
The inquiry extended only to the provinces of Prussia, Posen (from 1823 
on), Pomerania, exclusive of Stralsund; Brandenburg, Saxony, Silesia, 
and Westphalia. 

What disappears as peasant property usually goes into large estates. In 
1 885, in the province of Pomerania, 62 proprietors held 118 estates; in 
1891, however, the same number of proprietors held 203 estates with an 
area of 147,139 hectares. Altogether, there were in the province of 
Pomerania, in 1891, 1,353 noble and bourgeois landlords, owning 2,258 
estates with 1,247,201 hectares. 1 ' 2 The estates averaged 551 hectares 
in size. 

Our eastern provinces give this table of landlords for the year 1888:— 

Prince of Hohenlohe-Oehringen 39,365 hectares 

Prince of Sigmaringen 29,611 " 

Prince of Thurn and Taxis -. - - .24,482 "* 

Prince Bismarck 18,600 ** 

Prince Radziwill 16,398 

Duke of Milzinski 13,933 

Representative Eennemuui 10,482 " 

X>uke Serg. v. Czarnecki 9,263 " 

▼. Hansemann 7,734 " 

Etc., etc, etc. 

We see that we here have to do with owners of latifundia of first rank; 
and a portion of these gentlemen own also large estates in Southern 
Germany and Austria. 

According to Conrad, 1 ' 3 there were in the year 1888, in East Prussia, 
547 entails, of which 153 were instituted before the beginning of the 
nineteenth century. Entailed land is property that an heir can neither 
mortgage, divide nor alienate. The owner may go into bankruptcy through 
a dissolute life, but the entail and the income that flows therefrom 
remain unseizable. These entails, which only the very rich can 
institute, are steadily increasing in number since the last decades. The 
547 entails in existence in the eastern provinces of Prussia in 1888, 
held by 529 persons, 20 of whom were bourgeois, embraced 1,408,860 
hectares, or 2,454 hectares on an average. According to the statistical 
figures, submitted in the spring of 1894 by the Prussian Minister of 
Agriculture to the Agrarian Commission, the entails of Prussia embraced 
at that time 1,833,754 hectares with a net income of 22,992,000 marks. 
Estimating the holders of entails at 550, each has an unseizable income 
of 41,800 marks. Assuming, however, that these entails are concentrated 
in one province, it would mean that the whole province of 



248 



Schleswig-Holstein, with an area of 1,890,000 hectares, belonged to 550 
owners. In 1888 there were in the eastern provinces of Prussia 154 
persons— among them 15 ruling Princes (the Kings of Prussia, Saxony, 
etc.); 89 Dukes, other Princes and Counts; 40 noblemen and 10 
bourgeois— who alone owned 1,830 estates aggregating 1,768,648 hectares 
of land. Probably, the property of these persons has in the meantime 
increased considerably, seeing that a good portion of the net incomes 
from these estates is expended in acquiring new ones. The nobility of 
the first and second rank are the principal elements engaged in this 
gigantic concentration of landed property; but they are closely followed 
by the aristocracy of finance, who, with increasing predilection, invest 
their wealth in land, consisting mainly in magnificent woods, stocked 
with roe, deer and wild boar, that the owners may gratify their passion 
for the hunt. A large number of the baronial manors consist of the 
estates of dispossessed peasants, who w r ere driven from their homes and 
reduced to day laborers. According to Neumann, in the provinces of East 
and West Prussia alone, there w r ere from twelve to thirteen thousand 
small holdings appropriated in that w r ay between 1825 to 1859. This 
process of dispossessing, proletarianizing the country population by the 
capitalist landlords, has the laying w r aste of the land as a natural 
consequence. The population emigrates, or moves to the cities and 
industrial centers. Woods and meadows gain upon cultivated lands, the 
remaining territories are operated with machinery, that render human 
labor superfluous, or that need such only for short periods during the 
plowing and sowing seasons, or when the crops are gathered. The rapidly 
increasing number of movable steam engines, already mentioned, consists 
mainly of engines employed in the cultivation of the land. The decrease 
of the rural population, resulting upon these and other causes of 
secondary nature, is sharply expressed in the statistics on population. 
Within the eight old provinces of Prussia, the proportion between the 
rural and the city population revealed, between 1 867 and 1 890, the 
following progression:— 

Year. City Population. Country Population, 

1807 7,452,000 16,608,000 

1890 11,783,000 18,173,000 

Increase 4,331,000 1,606,000 

— 68 per cent. ■» 0.7 per cent. 

The rapidity is obvious with which the city is surpassing the country 
population. But the situation is still more unfavorable to the country 
if the fact is considered that 148 communities, with from 5,000 to 
40,000 inhabitants, and aggregating a population of 1,281,000 strong, 
are included in the rural but really belong to the industrial districts. 
They are essentially proletarian villages, located near large cities. 
Furthermore, 647 communities, with from 2,000 to 5,000 inhabitants, and 
aggregating a population of 1,884,000, are likewise included in the 
rural, while, to a perceptible degree, they belong to the industrial 

249 



districts. 

Similar conditions exist in Saxony and Southern Germany. In Baden and 
Wuertemberg also the population of many districts is on the decline. The 
small farmer can no longer hold his head above water; to thousands upon 
thousands of them the fate of a factory hand is inevitable; they enter 
the held of industry; and, with the help of their families, they 
cultivate during leisure hours the plot of land that may still be 
theirs. At the same time the large landlord's hunger for land knows no 
bounds; his appetite increases the more peasant lands he devours. 

As in Germany so are things developing in neighboring Austria, where 
large landed property has long ruled almost unchecked. The difference 
there is that the Catholic Church shares the land with the nobility and 
the bourgeoisie. The process of smoking-ont the farmer is in hill swing 
in Austria. All manner of efforts are put forth in order to push the 
peasants and mountaineers of Tyrol, Salzburg, Steiermark, Upper and 
Lower Austria, etc., off their inherited patrimony and to drive them to 
relinquish their property. The spectacle, once presented to the world by 
England and Scotland, is now on the boards of the most beautiful and 
charming regions of Austria. Enormous tracts of land are bought in lump 
by rich men, and what cannot be bought outright is leased. Access to the 
valleys, manors, hamlets and even houses is thus barred by these new 
masters, and stubborn owners of separate small holdings are driven by 
all manner of chicaneries to dispose of their property at any price to 
these wealthy owners of the woodlands. Old farmlands, on which numerous 
generations have been supported for thousands of years, are being 
transformed into wilderness, in which the roe and the deer house, while 
the mountains, that the noble or bourgeois capitalist calls his own, 
become the abode of large herds of chamois. Whole communities are 
pauperized, the turning of their cattle upon the Alpine pastures being 
made impossible to them, or their right to do so being even disputed. 
And who is it that thus raises his hand against the peasant's property 
and independence? Princes, noblemen and rich bourgeois. Side by side 
with Rothschild and Baron Mayer-Melnhof are found the Dukes of Koburg 
and Meiningen, the Princes of Hohenlohe, the Prince of Lichtenstein, the 
Duke of Braganza, Prince Rosenberg, Prince Pless, the Counts of 
Schoenfeld, Festetics, Schafgotsca, Trautmannsdorff, the hunting 
association of the Count of Karolysche, the hunting association of Baron 
Gustaedtsche, the noble hunting association of Bluehnbacher, etc. 

Large landed property is everywhere on the increase in Austria. The 
number of large landlords rose 9.5 per cent, from 1873 to 1891, and that 
means a considerable decrease of small holders: land cannot be 
increased. 

In Lower Austria, of a total area embracing 3,544,596 yokes, 521,603 

250 



were taken up by large estates (247 owners), and 94,882 yokes by the 
Church. Nine families alone owned, in the middle of the eighties, 
157,000 yokes, among these owners was the Count of Hoyos, with 54,000 
yokes. The area of Moravia is 2,222,190 hectares. Of these, the Church 
held 78,496, 3.53 per cent.; 145 private persons held 525,632, and one 
of these alone held 107,247 hectares. Of Austrian Silesia's area of 
514,085 hectares, the Church owned 50,845, or 9.87 per cent.; 36 
landlords owned 134,226, or 26.07 per cent. The area of Bohemia is 
5,196,700 hectares: of these the clergy owned 103,459 hectares; 362 
private persons owned 1,448,638. This number is distributed among Prince 
Colloredo-Mansfeld with 58,239 hectares; Prince Fuerstenberg with 
39,814; Imperial Duke Waldstein with 37,989; Prince Lichtenstein with 
37,937; the Count of Czerin with 32,277; the Count of Clam-Gallas with 
31,691; Emperor Franz Joseph with 28,800; the Count von Harrach with 
28,047; Prince von Lobkowitz with 27,684; Imperial Count Kinsky with 
26,265; the Count of Buquoy with 25,645; the Prince of Thurn and Taxis 
with 24,777; Prince Schwarzenberg with 24,037; Prince 
Metternich-Winneburg with 20,002; Prince Auersp erg with 19,960; Prince 
Windischgraetz with 19,920 hectares, etc. 174 

The absorption by the large landlords of the small holdings in land 
frequently proceeds in "alarming manner." For instance, in the judicial 
district of Aflenz, community of St. Ilgen, an Alpine hill of over 5,000 
yokes, with pasture ground for 300 head of cattle, and a contiguous 
peasant estate of 700 yokes, was all converted into a hunting ground. 
The same thing happened with Hoellaep, located in the community of 
Seewiesen, which had pasture land for 200 head of cattle. In the same 
judicial district of Aflenz, 47 other pieces of land, holding 840 head 
of cattle, w r ere gradually absorbed and turned into hunting grounds. 
Similar doings are reported from all parts of the Alps. In Steiermark, a 
number of peasants find it more profitable to sell the hay to the lordly 
hunters as feed for die game in winter, than give it to their own 
cattle. In the neighborhood of Muerzzuschlag, some peasants no longer 
keep cattle, but sell all the feed for the support of the game. 

In the judicial district of Schwarz, 7, and in the judicial district of 
Zell, 16 Alpine hills, formerly used for pasture, w r ere "cashiered" by 
the new r landlords and converted into hunting grounds. The whole region 
of the Karwendel mountain has been closed to cattle. It is generally the 
high nobility of Austria and Germany, together with rich bourgeois 
upstarts, who bought up Alpine stretches of land of 70,000 yokes and 
more at a clip and had them arranged for hunting parks. Whole villages, 
hundreds upon hundreds of holdings, are thus wiped out of existence; the 
inhabitants are crowded off; and in the place of human beings, together 
with cattle meet for their sustenance, roes, deer and chamois put in 
their appearance. Oddest of all, more than one of the men, who thus lay 
whole provinces w r aste, is seen rising in the parliaments and declaiming 

251 



on the "distress of landed property," and abuses his power to secure the 
protection of Government in the shape of duties on corn, wood and meat, 
and premiums on brandy and sugar,— all at the expense of the 
propertyless masses. 

According to the census of the eighties, there were 8,547,285 farms in 
France; 2,993,450 farm owners had an average annual income of 300 
francs, the aggregate income of these being 22.5 per cent, of the total 
income from farms; 1,095,850 farm owners had an average annual income of 
1,730 francs, the aggregate income of these being 47 per cent, of the 
total income from farms; 65,525 large landlords, owning 109,285 farms, 
drew 25.4 per cent, of the total agricultural revenues:— their 
possessions embraced more than one-half of the agricultural lands of 
France. 

Large agricultural property is becoming the standard in all countries of 
civilization, and, in virtue of its political influence, it sways 
legislation without regard to the welfare of the commonwealth. 
Nevertheless, the tenure of agricultural land and its cultivation is of 
high importance to social development. Upon land and its productivity 
depends first of all the population and its subsistence. Land can not be 
multiplied at will, hence the question is of all the greater magnitude 
to everyone how the land is cultivated and exploited. Germany, whose 
population increases yearly by from 5,600,000 heads, needs a large 
supply of breadstuffs and meat, if the prices of the principal 
necessaries of life shall remain within the reach of the people. 

At this point an important antagonism arises between the industrial and 
the agricultural population. The industrial population, being 
independent of agriculture, has a vital interest in cheap food: the 
degree in which they are to thrive both as men and as workers depends 
upon that. Every rise in the price of food leads, either to further 
adulterations, or to a decline of exports, and thereby of wages as a 
consequence of increased difficulties of competition. The question is 
otherwise with the cultivator of the soil. As in the instance of the 
industrial producer, the farmer is bent upon making the largest gains 
possible out of his trade, whatever line that may be in. If the 
importation of corn and meat reduces the high prices for these articles 
and thereby lowers his profits, then he gives up raising corn and 
devotes his soil to some other product that may bring larger returns: he 
cultivates sugar-beet for the production of sugar, potatoes and grain 
for distilleries, instead of wheat and rye for bread. He devotes the 
most fertile tracts to tobacco instead of vegetables. In the same way, 
thousands of hectares are used as horse pastures because horses for 
soldiers and other purposes of war fetch good prices. On the other hand, 
extensive forests, that can be made fertile, are kept at present for the 
enjoyment of the limiting lords, and this often happens in neighborhoods 

252 



where the dismantling of a few hectares of woodland and their conversion 
to agricultural purposes could be undertaken without thereby injuriously 
affecting the humidity of the neighborhood. 

Upon this particular point, forestry to-day denies the influence of 
woodlands upon moisture. Woods should be allowed in large masses only at 
such places where the nature of the soil permits no other form of 
cultivation, or where the purpose is to furnish mountain regions with a 
profitable vegetation, or with a check to the rapid running down of 
water in order to prevent freshets and the washing away of the land. 
From this point of view, thousands of square kilometers of fertile land 
could be reclaimed in Germany for agriculture. But such an alteration 
rims counter as well to the interests of the hierarchy of 
office-holders— foresters— as to the private and hunting interests of 
the large landlords, who are not inclined to forfeit their hunting 
grounds and pleasures of the chase. 

To what extent the process of rendering "hands" superfluous is 
progressing in agriculture and in the industries therewith connected has 
been shown in the palpable depopulation of the rural districts of 
Germany. It may, furthermore, be specified that in the period between 
1885 and f 890, the decrease of the rural population in 74 districts east 
of the Elbe was above 2 per cent.; in 44 of these 74 districts it was 
even above 3 per cent. In western Prussia, a decrease was established of 
over 2 per cent, in 16 districts, in two of which the decrease exceeded 
3 per cent. Especially high was the percentage of decrease in those 
neighborhoods where large landlords figure as special dispensations of 
Providence. In Wuertemberg, during the period between 1839 and 1885, the 
population of 22 peasant districts declined from 29,907 heads to 
19,213,— not less than 35.7 per cent. In East and West Prignitz, the 
rural population declined during the period of 1868-1885 from 100,000 
heads to 85,000,-15 per cent. 

The decrease of the rural working population is marked also in England 
where, as well known, latifundia property reigns supreme. The 
progression in the decrease of agricultural workers was there as 
follows:— 

Sexes. 1861. 1871. Deereaae. 

Males 1,833,652 1,328,161 605,501 

females 376,797 186,450 193,127 



Total 2,210,449 1,6 14,601 698,628 

Since then the decrease has proceeded further. According to Dr. B. J. 
Brock, in the year 1 885 there was the following yield per acre in 
bushels:— 



253 



Countries. Wheat. Barley. 

Great Britain 35.2 37.8 

Germany 18.7 23.6 

France 16.0 19.0 

Austria 16.5 16.8 

Hungary 11.7 16.0 

The difference in productivity between Great Britain and the other 
countries is, we see, considerable, and it is attained through a more 
extensive operation of the soil. In Hungary also the number of persons 
engaged in agriculture has decreased considerably:— 

1870 4,417,61-4 

1880 3,869,177 

a decrease of 748,457, or more than 17 per cent, in ten years. The 
agricultural lands passed into the hands of large magnates and 
capitalists, who employed machines instead of human workers, and thus 
rendered the latter "superfluous." These phenomena manifest themselves 
everywhere in agriculture,— just as in large industrial production. The 
productivity of labor increases, and in the same measure a portion of 
the working class is promoted to the sidewalk. 

As a matter of course, this process has its evil consequences for woman 
also. Her prospects of being a proprietor and housewife decline, and the 
prospects increase of her becoming a servant, a cheap hand for the large 
landlord. As a sexual being she is more exposed even than in the city to 
the illicit wishes and cravings of the master or his lieutenants. More 
so than in industry, on the land proprietary rights in the labor-power 
frequently expand to proprietary rights over the whole person. Thus, in 
the very midst of "Christian" Europe a quasi Turkish harem system has 
developed. In the country, woman is isolated to a higher degree than in 
the city. The magistrate or a close friend of his is her employer: 
newspapers and a public opinion, to which she otherwise might look for 
protection, there are none: furthermore, male labor itself is generally 
in a disgraceful state of dependence. But "the heavens are away up, and 
the Tsar is away off." 

The census of occupation of 1882 established that, out of 5,273,344 
farms, only 391,746, or 7 1/2 per cent., employ machinery. Out of the 
24,999 large farms, however, containing over 100 hectares of land, 
machinery was in use on 20,558, or 82 1/4 per cent. Naturally, it is the 
larger farms only that can utilize machinery. The application of 
machinery on a large surface, all of one product, engages labor only a 
comparatively short time, the number of male and female hands, 
absolutely needed on the place and for tending the cattle, is reduced, 
and after the field work is done, the day laborers are discharged. Thus 
with us, just as in England and in a still higher degree in the United 
states, a rural proletariat of grave aspect springs up. If, in view of 
the shortness of the season, these workingmen demand correspondingly 

254 



high wages when they are needed, their impudence is denounced; if, upon 
their discharge, they roam about in hunger and idleness, they are called 
vagabonds, are abused, and not infrequently dogs are set upon them to 
chase them from the yards as "tramps," unwilling to work, and they are 
handed over to the constabulary for the workhouse. A pretty social 
"order." 

Capitalist exploitation of agriculture leads in all directions to 
capitalist conditions. One set of our farmers, for instance, has for 
years made enormous profits out of beet-root and the production of sugar 
therewith connected. Our system of taxation favored the exportation of 
sugar, and it was so framed that the tax on beets yielded but an 
infinitesimal revenue to the treasury of the Empire, the premium on the 
exportation of sugar being large enough to almost swallow the tax. 

The rebate allowed the sugar manufacturers per double quintal was 
actually higher than the tax paid by them on beets; and this premium 
enabled them to sell large quantities of sugar at the expense of the 
domestic tax-payers, and to extend ever more the cultivation of the 
sugar-beet. The profit that accrued from this system of taxation to 
about 400 sugar factories was estimated at over 30 million marks for 
1889-1890: on an average 78,000 marks per factory. Several hundreds of 
thousands of hectares of land, previously devoted to raising grain, were 
turned into beet-root fields; factories upon factories were started, and 
are still being started; the inevitable consequence is an eventual 
crash. The large returns yielded by the beet-root cultivation affected 
favorably the price of land. It rose. The result was the buying up of 
the small farms, whose owners, seduced by the high prices, allowed 
themselves to be inveigled into selling. While the land was thus being 
used for industrial speculation, the raising of potatoes and grain was 
being confined to narrower fields, hence the increasing need of 
importation of food from abroad. The demand exceeds the supply. 
Thereupon, the large supply of foreign farm products and their cheaper 
transportation from Russia, the Danubian Principalities, North and South 
America, India, etc., finally leads to prices on which the domestic 
farmers— weighed down with mortgages and taxes, and hampered by the 
smallness of their farms, and their often faultily organized and 
deficiently conducted farming— can no longer exist. High duties are then 
placed upon importations; but these duties accrue only to the large 
farmer; the small fellow profits little by them, or none at all; and 
they become heavy burdens to the non-agricultural population. The 
advantage of the few becomes the injury of the many; small farming 
retrogresses; for it there is no balm in Gilead. That the condition of 
the small peasants in the tariff areas of Germany has been steadily 
deteriorating, will be generally admitted. The advantages to the large 
farmer from high duties, prohibitions of importations and measures of 
exclusion enable him all the more easily to buy out the small holder. 

255 



The large number of those who do not produce in meat and bread what they 

consume themselves— and a glance at the statistics of occupation and 

division of the soil shows that these are by far the larger majority of 

the farmers— even suffers a direct injury from the increased prices 

resulting upon higher tariffs and indirect taxes. An unfavorable crop, 

that lowers still more the returns from the farm, not only aggravates 

the pressure, but also increases the number of the agriculturists who 

are compelled to become purchasers of farm products themselves. Tariffs 

and indirect taxes can not improve the economic condition of the 

majority of the farmers: he who has little or nothing to sell, what, to 

him, does the tariff boot, be it never so high! The incumbrance of the 

small farmer and his final ruin are thereby promoted rather than 

checked. 

For Baden— overwhelmingly a state of small farms— the increase of 
mortgage indebtedness during the period of 1884-1894 is estimated at 140 
to 150 million marks. The mortgage indebtedness of the Bern peasants 
aggregated in round figures 200 million francs in 1860; in 1890 it 
aggregated 500 million francs. According to a report of the Bohemian 
representative Gustave Eim, made to his constituents in 1893, the 
indebtedness that weighed upon the farms of Bohemia stood as follows:— 

187» 2,716,641,764 guilders 

1889 3,106,587,363 guilders 

We see that inside of that period the burden of indebtedness increased 
14.13 per cent.— that of small holdings 13.29 per cent., while that of 
the large holdings increased only 3.77 per cent. The bulk of the 
increased indebtedness fell to the share of middle class property. 

How the cultivator of the soil operates his farm is— under the aegis of 
St. Private Property— his own business. His private interest decides. 
What cares he about the commonwealth and its well-being? He has to look 
out for himself: so, then, stand aside! Does not the industrialist 
proceed on that plan? He produces obscene pictures, turns out immoral 
books, sets up factories for adulterating food. These and many other 
occupations are harmful to society: they undermine morality and incite 
corruption. What does that matter! It brings in money, even more money 
than moral pictures, scientific books, and honest dealing in 
unadulterated food. The industrialist, greedy after profits, needs to 
concern himself only about escaping the too sharp eye of the police; he 
can quietly pursue his shameful trade, assured that the money he will 
thereby rake in will earn for him the envy and esteem of society. 

The Mammon character of our age is best typified by the Exchange and its 
doings. Land and industrial products; means of transportation; 
meteorologic and political conditions; scarcity and abundance; 



256 



mass-misery and accidents; public debts, inventions and discoveries; the 

health, sickness and death of influential persons; war and rumors of 

war, often started for the express purpose;— all this and much more is 

made [the object] of speculation, for exploitation and mutual cheating. The 

matadors of capital attain decided influence upon society, and, favored 

by the powerful means at their disposal and their connections, they 

amass enormous fortunes. Cabinet ministers and whole Governments become 

puppets in their hands, compelled to act according [to how] matadors of the 

Exchange pull the wires behind the scenes. Not the state has the 

Exchange, but the Exchange has the state in its power. Will he, mil he, 

a Minister is often forced to water the upas tree, which he might prefer 

to tear up by the roots, but that he now must aid in growing. 

All these facts, that, seeing the evils gain by the day in magnitude, 
daily force themselves with increasing importunity upon the 
consideration of everyone, demand speedy and radical help. But modern 
society stands bewildered before all these phenomena, just as certain 
animals are said to stand before a mountain; 175 it turns like a horse 
in the treadmill, constantly in a circle,— lost, helpless, the picture 
of distress and stupidity. Those who would bring help are yet too weak; 
those who should bring help still lack the necessary understanding; 
those who could bring help will not, they rely upon force; at best, they 
think with Madame Pompadour "apres nous le deluge" (after us the 
deluge) . But how if the deluge were to come before their departure from 
life? 

The flood rises and is washing out the foundations upon which our state 
and social structure rests. All feel that the ground shakes, and that 
only the strongest props can now stead. But these demand great 
sacrifices on the part of the ruling classes. There is the rub. Every 
proposition injurious to the material interests of the ruling classes, 
and that threatens their privileged position, is bitterly opposed and 
branded as a scheme looking to the overthrow of the modern political and 
social order. Neither is the sick world to be cured without any danger 
to the privileges and immunities of the ruling classes, nor without 
their final abolition by the abolition of the classes themselves. 

"The struggle for the emancipation of the working class is no struggle 
for privileges, but a struggle for equal rights and equal duties; it is 
a struggle for the abolition of all privileges"— thus runs the programme 
of the socialist movement. It follows that half-measures and small 
concessions are fruitless. 

Until now, the ruling classes regard their privileged position as quite 
natural and normal, as to the justice of which no doubt may be 
entertained. It is a matter of course, therefore, that they should 
object and resolutely oppose every attempt to shake their prerogatives. 

257 



Even propositions and laws, that affect neither the fundamental 
principles of the existing social order nor the privileged position of 
the rnling classes, throw them into great commotion the moment their 
purses are or might be touched. Mountains of paper are filed in the 
parliaments full of speeches and printed matter, until the heaving 
mountains bring forth a ridiculous mouse. The simplest and most obvious 
questions regarding the protection of labor are met by them with such a 
resistance as though the existence of society hinged on such 
concessions. After endless struggles a few concessions are finally wrung 
from them, and then they act as if they had sacrificed a large part of 
their fortunes. The same stubborn resistance do they display if the 
point is the formal recognition of the equality of the oppressed 
classes, to allow these, for instance, to have an equal voice with them 
in wage and other labor agreements. 

This resistance to the simplest matters and the most obvious demands 
confirms the old principle founded in experience, that no ruling class 
can be convinced by reasoning, until the force of circumstances drives 
[it] to sense and to submission. This force of circumstances lies in the 
development of society, and in the increasing intelligence awakened by 
this very development among the oppressed. The class-antagonism [s]— the 
sketch of our social conditions has pointed them out— grow more 
pronounced, visible and sensible. Along therewith increases the 
understanding of the untenableness of the existing order among the 
oppressed and exploited classes; their indignation mounts higher, and, 
as a result thereof, also the imperious demand for a change and for 
improved conditions. By penetrating ever wider circles, such 
understanding of the situation finally conquers the vast majority of 
society, most directly interested in the change. In the same measure, 
however, as the popular understanding increases regarding the 
untenableness of the existing order and the necessity of its radical 
change, the power of resistance decreases on the part of the ruling 
classes, whose power rests upon ignorance and lack of intelligence on 
the part of the oppressed and exploited. This cross effect is evident; 
hence, everything that promotes it must be welcome. The progress made by 
large capitalization, on one side, is amply compensated, on the other, 
by the increasing perception by the proletariat of the contradiction in 
which the social order stands with the well-being of the enormous 
majority. The dissolution and abolition of the social antagonisms may 
cost extraordinary pains, sacrifices and efforts, it may depend upon 
factors that lie beyond the influence of the individual, or even of a 
class. Nevertheless, the solution is reached the moment these 
antagonisms have reached their acme,— a point towards which they are 
rushing. 

The measures to be adopted at the various phases of development depend 
upon the then conditions. It is impossible to foretell what measures may 

258 



become necessary under given circumstances. No Government, no Minister, 
be he ever so powerful, can foresee what circumstances may require in 
the next few years. All the less is it possible to foretell measures, 
that will be influenced by circumstance, which elude all accurate 
calculation. The question of "measures" is a question of tactics in 
battle. These depend upon the enemy and upon the means at his disposal, 
and at mine. A measure that would be excellent to-day, may be harmful 
to-morrow, the circumstances that yesterday justified its application 
having changed to-day. With the goal in view, the means to attain it by 
depend upon time and tide; imperative is but the seizing of the most 
effective and thorough going ones that time and tide may allow. In 
forecasting the future, hypotheses alone are available: things must be 
supposed to exist that have not yet set in. 

Accordingly, we suppose the airival of a day when all die e\ils 
described will have reached such matuiity that they will have become 
oppressingiy sensible to the feeling as to the sight of the vast 
majority, to die extent of being no longer beai able; whereupon a general 
irresistible desire for a radical change will seize society, and then 
the quickest will be regaided the most effective remedy 

All social evils, without exception, have their source in that social 
order of things, which, as has been shown, rests upon capitalism, upon 
the capitalist system of production. Under this system, the capitalist 
class is the possessor of all instruments of labor— land, mines, 
quarries, raw material, tools, machines, means of transportation and 
communication— and it exploits and oppresses the vast majority of the 
people. The result of such abuses is an increased precariousness of 
livelihood, increased misery, oppression and degradation of the 
exploited classes. It is, consequently, necessary to convert this 
capitalist property into social property by means of a general 
expropriation. Production for sale must be converted into socialist 
production, conducted for and by society. Production on a large scale, 
and the increasing fertility of social labor,— until now a souice of 
misery and of oppression for the exploited classes— must be turned into 
a souice of highest well-being and of full and harmonious cultuie. 



259 



CHAPTER VII. 

THE SOCIALIZATION OF SOCIETY. 



The soon as possible general expropriation of all the means of 
production furnishes society with a new foundation. The conditions of 
life and labor— in manufacture, agriculture, transportation and 
communication, education, marriage, science, art and intercourse— are 
radically changed for both sexes. Human existence acquires a new sense. 
The present political organization gradually loses ground: the state 
vanishes: in a measure it abolishes itself. 

It was shown in the first part of this book why the state arose. It 
arises, as the product of a social growth, from a primitive form of 
society, that rested on communism and that dissolved in the measure that 
private property developed. With the rise of private property, 
antagonistic interests take shape within society; in the course of its 
development these antagonisms lead to rank and class contrasts, and 
these, in turn, grow into enmities between the several groups of 
interests, and finally into rank and class struggles, that threaten the 
existence of the new social order. In order to keep down these rank and 
class struggles, and to protect the property-holders, an organization is 
requisite that parries the assaults on property, and that pronounces 
"legal and sacred" the property obtained under certain forms. Tliis 
organization and power, thatguaids and upholds property, is the state. 
Through the enactment of laws it secures the owner in his ownership, and 
it steps as judge and avenger before him who assails the established 
order. By reason of its innermost being, the interest of a ruling 
property class, and of the government therewith connected, is ever 
conservative. The organization of the state changes only when the 
interest of property so demands. The state is, accordingly, the 
inevitably necessaiy organization of a social order that rests upon 
class rule. The moment class antagonisms fall through the abolition of 
private property, the state loses both the necessity and the 
possibility Lor its existence. With the removal of the conditions for 
rulership, the state gradually ceases to be, the same as creeds wane 
when the belief ceases in supernatural beings, or in transcendental 
powers gifted with reason. Words must have sense; if they lose that they 
cease to convey ideas. 

"Yes," interjects at this point a capitalist-minded reader, "that is all 
very well, but by what 'legal principle' can society justify such a 
change?" The legal principle is the same that ever prevailed, whenever 
it was the question of changes and reforms,— public policy. Not the 
state, but society is the source of right; the state is but the 
committee of society, authorized to administer and dispense right. 

260 



Hitherto, "society" has been a small minority; yet it acted in the name 
of the whole community (the people) by pronouncing itself "society," 
much as Louis XIV. pronounced himself the "state,"— ■" L'e tat c 'est mo? 
(I am the state). When our newspapers announce: "The season begins; 
society is returning to the city," or "The season has closed; society is 
rushing to the country," they never mean the people, but only the upper 
ten thousand, who constitute "society" as they constitute the "state." 
The masses are "plebs," "vile multitude," "canaille," "people." In 
keeping therewith, all that the state has done in the name of society 
for the "public weal" has always been to the advantage and profit of the 
ruling class. It is in its interests that laws are framed. "Salus 
reipublicae suprema lex esto" (Let the public weal be the supreme law) 
is a well known legal principle of Old Rome. But who constituted the 
Roman Commonwealth? Did it consist of the subjugated peoples, the 
millions of slaves? No. A disproportionately small number of Roman 
citizens, foremost among these the Roman nobility, all of whom were 
supported by the subject class. 

When, in the Middle Ages, noblemen and princes stole the common 
property, they did so "according to law," in the "interest of the public 
weal," and how drastically the common property and that of the helpless 
peasants was treated on the occasion we have sufficiently explained. The 
agrarian history of the last fifteen centuries is a narration of 
uninterrupted robbery perpetrated upon common and peasant property by 
the nobility and the church in all the leading countries of Europe. When 
the French Revolution expropriated the estates of the nobility and the 
church, it did so "in the name of the public weal"; and a large part of 
the seven million landed estates, that are to-day the prop of modern 
bourgeois France, owe their existence to this expropriation. "In the 
name of the public weal," Spain more than once embargoed church 
property, and Italy wholly confiscated the same,— both with the plaudits 
of the zealous defenders of "sacred property." The English nobility has 
for centimes been robbing the Irish and English people of their 
property, and, during the period of 1804-1832 made itself a present of 
not less than 3,511,710 acres of commons "in the interest of the public 
welfare." When during the great North American war for the emancipation 
of the negro, millions of slaves, the regular property of their masters, 
were declared free without indemnity to the latter, the thing was done 
"in the name of the public weal." Our whole capitalist development is an 
uninterrupted process of expropriation and confiscation, at which the 
manufacturer expropriates the workingman, the large landlord 
expropriates the peasant, the large merchant expropriates the small 
dealer, and finally one capitalist expropriates another, i.e., the 
larger expropriates and absorbs the smaller. To hear our bourgeoisie, 
all this happens in the interest of the "public weal," for the "good of 
society." The Napoleonites "saved society" on the 18th Brumaire and 2d 
of December, and "society" congratulated them. If hereafter society 

261 



shall save itself by resuming possession of the property that its elf has 
produced, it will enact the most notable historic event— it is not 
seeking to oppress some in die interest of others, but to afford to all 
the prerequisite for equality of existence, to make possible to each an 
existence worthy of human beings. It will be morally the cleanest and 
most stupendous measure that human society has ever executed. 

In what manner this gigantic process of social expropriation will be 
achieved, and under what modality, eludes all surmise. Who can tell how 
general conditions will then be, and what the demands of public interest 
will be? 

In his fourth social letter to v. Kirchmann, entitled "Capital," 
Rodbertus says: "The dissolution of all capitalist property in land is 
no chimera; on the contrary, it is easily conceivable in national 
economy. It would, moreover, be the most radical aid to society, that, 
as might be put in a few words, is suffering [from] rent-rising— rent of 
land and capital. Hence the measure would be the only manner of 
abolishing property in land and capital, a measuie that would not even 
for a moment interrupt the commerce and progress of the nation." What 
say our agrarians to this opinion of their former political 
co-religionist? 

In the contemplation of how matters will probably shape themselves along 
the principal lines of human activity, upon such a measure of general 
expropriation, there can be no question of establishing hard and fast 
lines, or rigid institutions. No one is able to forecast the detailed 
molds in which future generations may cast their social organizations, 
and how they will satisfy their wants. In society as in nature, 
everything is in constant flux and reflux; one thing rises, another 
wanes; what is old and sered is replaced with new and living forms. 
Inventions, discoveries and improvements, numerous and various, the 
bearing and significance of which often none can tell, are made from day 
to day, come into operation, and, each in its own way, they 
revolutionize and transform human life and all society. 

We can, accordingly, be concerned only with general principles, that 
flow inevitably from the preceding expose, and whose enforcement may 
be supervised, up to a certain point. If even hitherto society has been 
no automatic entity, leadable and guidable by an individual, much as 
appearances often pointed the other way; if even hitherto those who 
imagined they pushed were themselves pushed; if even hitherto society 
was an organism, that developed according to certain inherent laws;— if 
that was hitherto the case, in the future all guiding and leading after 
individual caprice is all the more out of question. Society will have 
discovered the secret of its own being, it will have discovered the laws 
of its own progress, and it will apply these consciously towards its own 

262 



further development. 

So soon as society is in possession of all the means of production, the 
duty to work, on die part of all able to work, without distinction of 
sex, becomes die organic law of socialized society. Without work 
society can not exist. Hence, society has the right to demand that all, 
who wish to satisfy their wants, shall exert themselves, according to 
their physical and mental faculties, in the production of the requisite 
wealth. The silly claim that the Socialist does not wish to work, that 
he seeks to abolish work, is a matchless absurdity, which lits our 
adversaries alone. Non-workers, idlers, exist in capitalist society 
only Socialism agrees with the Bible that "He who will not work, 
neither shall he eat." But work shall not be mere activity; it shall be 
useful, productive activity. The new social system will demand that each 
and all pursue some industrial, agricultural or other useful occupation, 
whereby to furnish a certain amount of work towards the satisfaction of 
existing wants. Without work no pleasuie, no pleasuie without work. 

All being obliged to work, all have an equal interest in seeing the 
following three conditions of work in force:— 

First, that work shall be moderate, and shall overtax none; 

Second, that work shall be as agreeable and varied as possible; 

Third, that work shall be as productive as possible, seeing that both 
the hours of work and fruition hinge upon that. 

These three conditions hinge, in turn, upon the nature and the number of 
the productive powers that are available, and also upon the aspirations 
of society. But Socialist society does not come into existence for the 
purpose of living in proletarian style; it conies into existence in 
order to abolish the prole taiian style of life of the laige majority of 
humanity It seeks to afford to each and all the fullest possible 
measure of the amenities of life. The question that does rise is, How 
high will the aspirations of society mount? 

In order to determine this, an administration is requisite that shall 
embrace all the helds of social activity. Our municipalities constitute 
an effective basis thereto: if they are too large to allow a ready 
supervision, they can be divided into wards. As in primitive society, 
all members of the community who are of age participate in the 
elections, without distinction of sex, and have a voice in the choice 
of the persons who are to be entrusted with the administration. At the 
head of all the local administrations stands the central 
administration— as will be noted, not a government, with power to rule, 
but an executive college of administrative functions. Whether the 

263 



central administration shall be chosen directly by popular vote or 
appointed by the local administration is immaterial. These questions 
will not then have the importance they have to-day: the question is then 
no longer one of filling posts that bestow special honor, or that vest 
the incumbent with greater power and influence, or that yield larger 
incomes: it is then a question of filling positions of trust, for which 
the fittest, whether male or female, are taken; and these may be 
recalled or re-elected as circumstances may demand, or the electors may 
deem preferable. All posts are for given terms. The incumbents are, 
accordingly, clothed with no special "official qualities"; the feature 
of continuity of office is absent, likewise a hierarchical order of 
promotion. Hence it is also immaterial to us whether there shall be 
middle stages, say provincial administrations, between the central and 
the local administrations. If they are deemed necessary, they are set 
up; if they are not deemed necessary, they are left alone. All such 
matters are decided by actual exigencies, as ascertained in practice. If 
the progress of society has rendered any old organization superfluous, 
it is abolished without further ado and dispute, there being no longer 
any personal interest in conflict; and new r ones are similarly 
established. Obviously, such an administration, resting upon the 
broadest democratic foundation, differs radically from what we have 
to-day. What a battle of newspapers, what a war of tongues in our 
parliaments, what mountains of public documents in our bureaus, if but a 
trivial change is made in the administration or the government! 

The principal thing to ascertain is the number and the nature of the 
forces that are available, the quantity and nature of the means of 
production,— the factories, workshops, means of transportation and 
communication, land— and also their productivity. The next thing to 
ascertain is the quantity of the supplies that are on hand and the 
extent to wiiich these can satisfy the w r ants of society. As to-day the 
state and the several municipalities yearly cast up their budgets, the 
thing will then be done with an eye to all the w r ants of society, without 
thereby excluding changes that increased or new wants may demand. 
Statistics here play the chief role: they become the most important 
subsidiary science of the new r order: they furnish the measure for all 
social activities. 

Statistics are extensively used to-day for similar purposes. The 
Imperial, state and municipal budgets are based upon a large amount of 
statistical reports, made yearly by the several administrative branches. 
Long experience and a certain degree of stability in the running w r ants 
facilitate their gathering. Every operator of a large factory, every 
merchant is, under normal conditions, able to determine accurately what 
he will need during the next three months, and how r he should regulate 
his production and purchases. Unless excessive changes set in, his 
calculations will be found safe. 



264 



The experience that crises are caused by blind, anarchic production, i. 
e., that production is carried on without a knowledge of the volume of 
supply, of sales and of demand of and for the several goods in the 
world's market, has, as indicated in previous passages, caused large 
manufacturers in several branches of industry to join in trusts and 
rings, partly with the view of steadying prices, partly also for the 
purpose of regulating production by the light of previous experience and 
of the orders received. According to the capability of each 
establishment and to the probable demand, the output of each is 
determined for the next few months. Infractions are punished with heavy 
conventional mulcts, and even expulsion. The capitalists do not conclude 
these agreements for the benefit of the public, but to its injury and to 
their own profit. Their purpose is to utilize the power of combination 
in order to secure the greatest advantages to themselves. This 
regulation of production has for its object to enable the capitalist to 
demand from the public prices that could not be got if the competitive 
struggle was on between the several capitalists. These enrich themselves 
at the expense of the consumers who are forced to pay whatever price is 
demanded for the goods they need. As the consumer, so is the workingman 
injured by the trusts. The artificial regulation of production throws a 
part of the working class out of work, and, in order that these may 
live, they underbid their fellows at work. Thus the employer derives a 
double advantage: he receives higher prices, and he pays lower wages. 
Such a regulation of production by combinations of capitalists is 
exactly the reverse of that wliich will be practiced in Socialist 
society. While to-day the interest of the capitalists is the 
determining factor, the interests of all will then be the guide. 
Production will then be carried on for the satisfaction of human wants, 
and not in order to obtain, through high prices, large profits for 
private individuals. Nevertheless, the best planned combination in 
capitalist society can not take in and control all the factors needed in 
the calculation: competition and speculation run wild despite all 
combinations: finally the discovery is made that the calculation had a 
leak, and the scheme breaks down. 

The same as production on a large scale, commerce also has extensive 
statistics. Every week the larger centers of commerce and the ports 
publish reports on the supply of petroleum, coffee, cotton, sugar, 
grain, etc. These statistics are frequently inaccurate, seeing that the 
owners of the goods frequently have a personal interest in concealing 
the truth. On the whole, however, the statistics are pretty safe and 
furnish to those interested, information on the condition of the 
market. But here also speculation steps in, upsets all calculations, and 
often renders all legitimate business impossible. Seeing how impossible 
is a general regulation of production in capitalist society, [because of] the 
existence of many thousands of private producers with conflicting 

265 



interests, it will be obvious why the speculative nature of commerce, 
the number of merchants and their conflicting interests render equally 
impossible the regulation of distribution. Nevertheless, what is done in 
these directions indicates what could be done so soon as private 
interest were to drop out and the interests of all were alone dominant. 
A proof of this is furnished by the statistics of crops, that are yearly 
issued by the leading countries of civilization, and that enable certain 
general conclusions to be drawn upon the size of the crops, the extent 
that they will supply the demand, and the probable price. 

In a socialized society matters are fully regulated; society is held in 
fraternal bonds. Everything is done in order; there, it is an easy 
matter to gauge demand. With a little experience, the thing is easy as 
play. If, for instance, the demand is statistically established for 
bread, meat, shoes, linen, etc., and, on the other hand, the 
productivity of the respective plants is equally known, the average 
daily amount of socially necessaiy labor is thereby ascertained. The 
figuies would, furthermore, point out where more plants for the 
production of a certain aiticle may be needed, or where such may be 
discontinued as superfluous, or turned to other puiposes. 

Everyone decides the pursuit he chooses: the large number of different 
fields of activity caters to the tastes of all. If on one field there is 
a surplus and on another a dearth of labor-power, the administration 
attends to the equalization of forces. To organize production, and to 
furnish the several powers with the opportunity to apply themselves at 
the right places will be the principal task of these functionaries. In 
the measure that the several forces are broken in, the wheels will move 
with greater smoothness. The several branches and divisions of labor 
choose their foremen, who superintend the work. These are no 
slave-drivers, like most foremen of to-day; they are fellow workers, 
who, instead of a productive, exercise an administrative function 
entrusted to them. The idea is by no means excluded that, with the 
attainment of higher perfection, both in point of organization and of 
individuals, these functions should alternate so that, within a certain 
time, and in certain order, they are filled by all regardless of sex. 

A system of labor, organized upon a plan of such absolute liberty and 
democratic equality, where each stands for all, and all stand for each, 
and where the sense of solidarity reigns supreme,— such a system would 
generate a spirit of industry and of emulation nowhere to be found in 
the modem economic system. Nor could such a spirit of industry fail to 
react both upon the productivity of labor and the quality of labor's 
product. 

Furthermore— seeing that all are mutually active— the interest becomes 
general in the best and most complete, as well as in the quickest 

266 



possible production of goods, with the object of saving labor, and of 
gaining time for the production of further wealth, looking to the 
gratification of higher wants. Such a common interest spins all to bend 
their thoughts towaids simplifying and quickening the process of labor. 
The ambition to invent and discover is stimulated to the highest pitch: 
each will seek to outdo the other in propositions and ideas. " 6 

Just the reverse will, accordingly, happen of which the adversaries of 
Socialism claim. How many are not the inventors and discoverers who go 
to pieces in the capitalist world! How many has it not exploited and 
then cast aside! If talent and intellect, instead of property, stood at 
the head of bourgeois society, the larger pait ol the employers would 
have to make room for their workingmen, master mechanics, teclmical 
overseers, engineers, chemists, etc. These are the men, who, in 
ninety-nine cases out of a hundred, make the inventions, discoveries and 
improvements, which the man with the money-bag exploits. How many 
thousands of discoverers and inventors have gone to pieces unable to 
find the man of means ready to provide the wherewithal for the execution 
of their thoughts; how many germs of inventions and discoveries have 
been and continue to be nipped by the social stress for bare existence, 
is a matter that eludes all calculation. Not the men of head and brain, 
but those of large wealth are to-day the masters of the world,— which, 
however, does not exclude the occasional and exceptional phenomenon of 
brains and wealth being united in one person. The exception only proves 
the rule. 

Everyone in practical life knows with what suspicion the workingman 
to-day regards every improvement, every invention introduced in the 
shop. And he is right. He rarely derives any advantage therefrom; it all 
accrues to the employer. The workingman is assailed with the fear lest 
the new machine, the new improvement cast him off to-morrow as 
superfluous. Instead of gladsome applause for an invention that does 
honor to man and is fraught with benefit for the race, he only has a 
malediction on his lips. We also know, from personal experience, how 
many an improvement perceived by the workingman, is not introduced: the 
workingman keeps silent, fearing to derive no benefit but only harm from 
it. Such are the natural consequences of an antagonism of 
interests. 1 " 

This antagonism of interests is removed in Socialist society. Each 

unfolds his faculties in his own interest, and, by so doing, 

simultaneously benefits the commonweal. To-day personal gratification is 

generally antagonistic to the common weal; the two exclude each other. 

In the new order, the antagonisms are removed: The gratification of the 

ego and the promotion of the common weal harmonize, they supplement each 

other. 18 



267 



The marvelous effect of such a mental and moral condition is obvious. 
The productivity of labor will rise mightily, and such increased 
productivity makes possible the satisfaction of higher wants. Especially 
will the productivity of labor rise through the discontinuance of the 
present and enormous disintegration of labor, in hundreds of thousands, 
even millions of petty establishments, conducted with imperfect tools. 
According to the industrial census of the German Empire for the year 
1882, there were 3,005,457 leading establishments, exclusive of 
commerce, transportation, hotels and inns, in wiiich 6,396,465 persons 
w r ere occupied. Of these leading establishments, 61.1 per cent, employed 
less than 5 persons, and 16.8 per cent, employed from 6 to 50 persons. 
The former are small concerns, the latter middle class ones. Through the 
concentration of the small and middle class establishments into large 
ones, equipped with all the advantages of modern technique, an enormous 
w r aste in pow r er, time, material (light, heat, etc.) space, now incurred, 
w r ould be avoided, and the productivity of labor w r ould gain 
proportionally. What difference there is in the productivity of small, 
middle class and large establishments, even wiiere modern technique is 
applied, may be illustrated by the census of manufactories of the state 
of Massachusetts for 1890. The establishments in ten leading industries 
w r ere divided into three classes. Those that produced less than $40,000 
w r orth of goods w r ere placed in the low r est class; those that produced from 
$40,000 to $150,000 w r ere placed in the middle class; and those that 
produced over $150,000 w r orth of goods w r ere placed in the upper class. 

The result w r as this:— 



Number Percentage 
of Estab- of All 

Classes, lishments. Establishments. 

Lower 2,042 66.8 

Middle ........ 90S 26.2 

Upper 680 18.6 



t£M 



100.0 



Produc- 
tivity of 
Each Class. 

61,660,617 
106,868,636 
390,817,300 

646,346,662 



Percentage 

of Total 

Productivity. 

9.4 
19.6 
71.1 

100.0 



The more than twice as large number of small establishments turned out 
only 9.4 per cent, of the total product. But even the large 
establishments could, with hardly any exception, be conducted far more 
rationally than now, so that, under a system of collective production, 
aided by the most highly perfected technical process, an infinitely 
larger demand could be supplied. 

Upon the subject of the saving of time, possible under a system of 
production planted on a rational basis, Th. Hertzka of Vienna has made 
some interesting calculations. 1 ' 9 He investigated the amount of 
labor-pow r er and time requisite for the satisfaction of the w r ants of the 
22 million inhabitants of Austria by means of production on a large 
scale. To this end Hertzka gathered information upon the capacity of 



268 



large establishments in several fields, and he based his calculations 
upon the data thus ascertained. In Hertzka's calculation are included 
10,500,000 hectares of agricultural and 3,000,000 hectares of pasture 
lands, that should suffice for the production of agricultural products 
and of meat for the said population. Hertzka also included in his 
computation the building of houses on the basis of a house of 150 square 
meters, 5 rooms and strong enough to last 50 years, to each family. The 
result was that, for agricultural, building, the production of flour, 
sugar, coal, iron, machinery, clothing and chemicals, only 615,000 
workingmen were needed, at work the whole year and at the present 
average hours of daily labor. These 615,000 workingmen are, however, 
only 12.3 pei cent, of the population of Austria, capable to work, 
exclusive of all the women as well as the males under 16 and over SO 
yeais of age. If all the 5,000,000 men, and not merely the above figure 
of 615,000, were engaged, then each of them would need to work only 
36.9 days— six weeks in round Eguies—m order to produce the 
necessaries of life for 22 million people. Assuming 300 work days in the 
year, instead of 37, and lias the present daily hours of work, it 
follows that, under this new organization of labor, only 1-3/8 hows a 
day would be needed to cover the most pressing needs of all. 

Hertzka further computes the articles of luxury that the better situated 
demand, and he finds that the production of the same for 22 million 
people would require an additional 315,000 workingmen. Altogether, 
according to Hertzka, and making allowance for some industries that are 
not properly represented in Austria, one million in round figures, equal 
to 20 per cent, of the male population able to work, exclusive of those 
under 1 6 and above 50 years of age, would suffice to cover all the 
needs of the population in 60 days. If, again, the whole male 
population able to work is made the basis of the computation, these 
would need to furnish but two and a half hows work a day im 

This computation will surprise none who take a comprehensive view of 
things. Considering, then, that, at such moderate hours, even the men 50 
years old— all the sick and invalid excepted— are able to work; 
furthermore, that also youths under 16 years of age could be partially 
active, as well as a large number of women, in so far as these are not 
otherwise engaged in the education of children, the preparation of food, 
etc.;— considering all that, it follows that even these horns could be 
considerably lowered, or the demand for wealth could be considerably 
increased. None will venture to claim that no more and unforeseen 
progress, and considerable progress, at that, is possible in the 
process of production, thus furnishing still greater advantages. But 
the issue now is to satisfy a mass of wants felt by all that to-day are 
satisfied only by a minority. With higher culture ever newer wants 
arise, and these too should be met. We repeat it: the new social order 
is not to live in proletarian style; it lives as a highly developed 

269 



people demand to live, and it makes the demand in all its members from 
the Gist to the last. But such a people can not rest content with 
satisfying merely its material wants. All its members are to be allowed 
fullest leisure for their development in the arts and sciences, as well 
as for their recreation. 

Also in other important respects will Socialist society differ from the 
bourgeois individualist system. The motto: "Cheap and bad"— which is and 
must be standard for a large portion of bourgeois production, seeing 
that the larger part of the customers can buy only cheap goods, that 
quickly wear out— likewise drops out. Only the best will be produced; it 
will last longer and will need replacing at only wider intervals. The 
follies and insanities of fashion, promoted by wastefulness and 
tastelessness, also cease. People will probably clothe themselves more 
properly and sightfully than to-day, when, be it said in passing, the 
fashions of the last hundred years, especially as to men, distinguish 
themselves by their utter tastelessness. No longer will a new r fashion be 
introduced every three months, an act of folly that stands in intimate 
relation with the competitive struggle of women among themselves, with 
the ostentatiousness and vanity of society, and with the necessity for 
the display of w r ealth. To-day a mass of establishments and people live 
upon this folly of fashion, and are compelled by their own interests to 
stimulate and force it. Together with the folly of fashion in dress, 
falls the folly of fashion in the style of architecture. Eccentricity 
reaches here its w r orst expression. Styles of architecture that required 
centuries for their development and that sprang up among different 
peoples— w r e are no longer satisfied with European styles, w r e go to the 
Japanese, Indians and Chinese— are used up in a few r decades and laid 
aside. Our poor professional artists no longer know r wiiither and whereto 
they should turn with and for their samples and models. Hardly have they 
assorted themselves with one style, and expect to recover with ease the 
outlays they have made, when a new r style breaks in upon them, and 
demands new sacrifices of time and money, of mental and physical pow r ers. 
The nervousness of the age is best reflected in the rush from one 
fashion to the other, from one style to the other. No one will dare to 
claim any sense for such hurrying and scurrying, or the merit of its 
being a symptom of social health. 

Socialism alone will re-introduce a greater stability in the habits of 
life. It will make repose and enjoyment possible; it will be a 
liberator from hurry and excessive exertion. Nervousness, that scourge 
of our age, will disappear. 

But labor is also to be made pleasant. To that end practical and 
tastefully contrived workshops are required; the utmost precautions 
against danger; the removal of disagreeable odors, gases and smoke,— in 
short, of all sources of injury or discomfort to health. At the start, 

270 



the new social system will cany on production with the old means, 
inherited from the old. But these are utterly inadequate. Numerous and 
unsuitable workshops, disintegrated in all directions; imperfect tools 
and machinery, running through all the stages of usefulness;— this heap 
is insufficient both for the number of the workers and for their demands 
of comfort and of pleasure. The establishment of a large number of 
spacious, light, aiiy, fully equipped and ornamented workshops is a 
pressing need. Ait, technique, skill of head and hand immediately find a 
wide held of activity. All departments in the building of machinery, in 
the fashioning of tools, in architecture and in the branches of work 
connected with the internal equipment of houses have the amplest 
opportunity. Whatever human genius can invent with regard to comfortable 
and pleasant homes, proper ventilation, lighting and heating, mechanical 
and technical provisions and cleanliness is brought into application. 
The saving of motor power, heating, lighting, time, as well as the 
promotion of all that tends to render work and life agreeable, demand a 
suitable concentration of the fields of labor on certain spots. 
Habitations are separated from places of work and are freed from the 
disagreeable features of industrial and other manual work. These 
disagreeable features are, in their turn, reduced to the lowest measure 
possible by means of suitable arrangements and provisions of all sorts, 
until wholly removed. The present state of technique has now means 
enough at command to wholly free from danger the most dangerous 
occupations, such as mining and the preparation of chemicals, etc. But 
these means can not be applied in capitalist society because they are 
expensive, and there is no obligation to do more than what is absolutely 
necessary for the workingman. The discomforts attached to mining can be 
removed by means of a different sort of draining, of extensive 
ventilation, of electric lighting, of a material reduction of horns of 
work, and of frequent shifts. Nor does it require any particular 
cleverness to find such protective means as would render building 
accidents almost impossible, and transform work in that line into the 
most exhilarating of all. Ample protections against sun and rain are 
possible in the construction of the largest edifices. Furthermore, in a 
society with ample labor-power at its disposal, such as Socialist 
society would be, frequent shifts and the concentration of certain work 
upon certain seasons of the year and certain hours of day would be an 
easy matter. 

The problem of removing dust, smoke, soot and odors could likewise be 
completely solved by modern chemistry and technique; it is solved only 
partially or not at all, simply because the private employers care not 
to make the necessary sacrifice of funds. The work-places of the future, 
wherever located, whether above or under ground, will, accordingly, 
distinguish themselves most favorably from those of to-day. Many 
contrivances are, under the existing system of private enterprise, first 
of all, a question of money: can the business bear the expenditure? Will 

271 



it pay? If the answer is in the negative, then let the workingmen go to 
pieces. Capital does not operate where there is no profit. Humanity is 
not an "issue" on the exchange. 181 

The question of "profit" has exhausted its role in Socialist society: 
in Socialist society the only consideration is the welfaie of its 
members. Whatever is beneficent to these and protects them must be 
introduced; whatever injures them must stop. None is forced to join in a 
dangerous game. If matters are undertaken that have dangers in prospect, 
volunteers will be numerous, all the more so seeing that the object can 
never be to the injury, but only to the promotion of civilization. 

The amplest application of motor powers and of the best machinery and 
implements, the utmost subdivision of labor, and the most efficient 
combinations of labor-power will, accordingly, cany production to such 
pitch that the hours of work can be materially reduced in the production 
of the necessaries of life. The capitalist lengthens the hours of labor, 
whenever he can, especially during crises, when the worker's power of 
resistance is broken, and by squeezing more surplus values out of him, 
prices maybe lowered. In Socialist society, an increase of production 
accrues to the benefit of all: The shaie of each rises with the 
productivity of labor and increased productivity again makes possible 
the reduction of die hows of work, socially determined as necessary 

Among the motor powers that are coming into application, electricity 
will, according to all appearances, take a decisive place. 182 
Capitalist society is now everywhere engaged in harnessing it to its 
service. The more extensively this is done the better. The 
revolutionizing effect of this mightiest of all the powers of nature 
will but all the sooner snap the bonds of bourgeois society, and open 
the doors to Socialism. But only in Socialist society will electricity 
attain its fullest and most widespread application. If the prospects now 
opened for its application are even but partially realized— and on that 
head there can be no doubt— electricity, as a motor power as well as a 
source of light and heat, will contribute immeasurably towards the 
improvement of the conditions of life. Electricity distinguishes itself 
from all other motor power in that, above all, its supply in nature is 
abundant. Our water courses, the ebb and tide of the sea, the winds, the 
sun-light— all furnish innumerable horse-powers, the moment we know how 
to utilize them in full. Through the invention of accumulators it has 
been proved that large volumes of power, which can be appropriated only 
periodically, from the ebbs and tides, the winds and mountain streams, 
can be stored up and kept for use at any given place and any given time. 
All these inventions and discoveries are still in embryo: their full 
development may be surmised, but can not be forecast in detail. 

The progress expected from the application of electricity sounds like a 

272 



faiiy tale. Mr. Meems of Baltimore has planned an electric wagon able to 
travel 300 kilometers an hour— actually race with the wind. Nor does Mr. 
Meems stand alone. Prof. Elihu Thomson of Lynn, Mass., also believes it 
possible to construct electromotors of a velocity of 160 kilometers, 
and, with suitable strengthening of the rolling stock and improvement of 
the signal system, of a velocity of 260 kilometers; and he has given a 
plausible explanation of his system. The same scientist holds, and in 
this Werner Siemens, who expressed similar views at the Berlin 
Convention of Naturalists in 1887, agrees with him, that it is possible 
by means of electricity to transform the chemical elements directly 
into food—a revolution that w r ould hoist capitalist society off its 
hinges. While in 1887 Werner Siemens w r as of the opinion that it was 
possible, though only in the remote future, to produce artificially a 
hydrate of carbon such as grape sugar and later the therewith closely 
related starch, wiiereby "bread could be made out of stone," the chemist 
Dr. B. Meyer claims that ligneous fibre could eventually be turned into 
a source of human food. Obviously, w r e are moving towards ever new r er 
chemical and technical revolutions. In the meantime, the physiologist E. 
Eiseler has actually produced grape sugar artificially, and thus made a 
discovery that, in 1887, Werner Siemens considered possible only in the 
"remote future." In the spring of 1894, the French ex-Minister of Public 
Worship, Prof. Berthelot, delivered an address in Paris at the banquet 
of the Association of Chemical Manufacturers upon the significance of 
chemistry in the future. The address is interesting in more respects 
than one. Prof. Berthelot sketched the probable state of chemistry at 
about the year 2000. While his sketch contains many a droll 
exaggeration, it does contain so much that is serious and sound that w r e 
shall present it in extract. After describing the achievements of 
chemistry during the last few r decades, Prof. Berthelot w r ent on to say:— 

"The manufacture of sulphuric acids and of soda, bleaching and coloring, 
beet sugar, therapeutic alkaloids, gas, gilding and silvering, etc.; 
then came electro-chemistry, wiiereby metallurgy w r as radically 
revolutionized; thermo-chemistry and the chemistry of explosives, 
wiiereby fresh energy w r as imparted to mining and to w r ar; the winders of 
organic chemistry in the production of colors, of flavors, of 
therapeutic and antiseptic means, etc. But all that is only a start: 
soon much more important problems are to be solved. About the year 2000 
there will be no more agriculture and no more farmers: chemistry will 
have done aw r ay with the former cultivation of the soil. There will be no 
more coal-shafts, consequently, neither will there be any more miners' 
strikes. Fuel is produced by chemical and physical processes. Tariffs 
and w r ars are abolished: aerial navigation, that helped itself to 
chemicals as motor pow r er, pronounced the sentence of death upon those 
obsolete habits. The wiiole problem of industry then consists in 
discovering sources of pow r er, that are inexhaustible and resortable to 
with little labor. Until now w r e have produced steam through the chemical 

273 



energy of burning mineral coal. But mineral coal is hard to get and its 
supply decreases daily. Attention must be turned towards utilizing the 
heat of the sun and of the earth's crust. The hope is justified that 
both sources will be drawn upon without limit. The boring of a shaft 
3,000 to 4,000 meters deep does not exceed the power of modern, less yet 
it will exceed that of future engineers. The source of all heat and of 
all industry would be thus thrown open. Add water to that, and all 
imaginable machinery may be put in perpetual operation on earth: the 
source of this power would experience hardly any diminution in hundreds 
of years. 

"With the aid of the earth's heat, numerous chemical problems will 

become solvable, among these the greatest of all— the chemical 

production of food. In principle, the problem is solved now. The 

synthesis of fats and oils has been long known; likewise are sugar and 

hydrates of carbon known; nor will it be long before the secret of 

compounding azote [nitrogen] is out. The food problem is a purely chemical one. 

The day when the corresponding cheap power shall have been obtained, 

food of all sort will be producable with carbon out of carbon oxides, 

and with hydrogen and acids out of water, and with nitrogen out of the 

atmosphere. What until now vegetation has done, industry will 

thenceforth perform, and more perfectly than nature itself. The time 

will come when everyone will cany about him a little box of chemicals 

wherewith to provide his food supply of albumen, fat and hydrates of 

carbon, regardless of the hour of the day or the season of the year, 

regardless of rain or drought, of frost or hail, or insects. A 

revolution will then set in of which no conception is so far possible. 

Fields bearing fruit, wine-bearing mountain slopes and pastures for 

cattle will have vanished. Man will have gained in gentleness and 

morality seeing he no longer lives on the murder and destruction of 

living beings. Then also will the difference drop away between fertile 

and barren districts; perchance deserts may then become the favorite 

homes of man being healthier than the damp valleys and the 

swamp-infected plains. Then also will art, together with all the 

beauties of human life reach full development. No longer will the face 

of earth be marred, so to speak, with geometrical figures, now entailed 

by agriculture: it will become a garden in which, at will, grass or 

flowers, bush or woods, can be allowed to grow, and in which the human 

race will live in plenty, in a Golden Age. Nor will man thereby sink 

into indolence and corruption. Work is requisite to happiness, and man 

will work as much as ever, because he will be working for himself arming 

at the highest development of his mental, moral and esthetical powers." 

Every reader may accept what he please of this address of Prof. 
Berthelot; certain, however, is the prospect that in the future and in 
virtue of the progress of science, wealth— the volume and variety of 
products— will increase enormously, and that the pleasures of life of 

274 



the coming generations will take undreamed of increment. 

An aspiration, deeply implanted in the nature of man, is that of freedom 
in the choice and change of occupation. As uninterrupted repetition 
renders the daintiest of dishes repulsive, so with a daily 
treadmill-like recurring occupation: it dulls and relaxes the senses. 
Man then does only mechanically what he must do; he does it without 
swing or enjoyment. There are latent in all men faculties and desires 
that need but to be awakened and developed to produce the most beautiful 
results. Only then does man become fully and truly man. Towards the 
satisfaction of this need of change, Socialist society offers, as will 
be shown, the fullest opportunity. The mighty increase of productive 
powders, coupled with an ever progressing simplification of the process 
of labor, not only enables a considerable lowering of hours of w r ork, it 
also facilitates the acquisition of skill in many directions. 

The old apprentice system has survived its usefulness: it exists to-day 
only and is possible only in backward, old-fashioned forms of 
production, as represented by the small handicrafts. Seeing, however, 
that this vanishes from the new social order, all the institutions and 
forms peculiar thereto vanish along with it. New r ones step in. Every 
factory show r s us to-day how r few r are its w r orkingmen, still engaged at a 
w r ork that they have been apprenticed in. The employees are of the most 
varied, heterogeneous trades; a short time suffices to train them in any 
sub-department of work, at which, in accord with the ruling system of 
exploitation, they are then kept at w r ork longer hours, without change or 
regard to their inclinations, and, lashed to the machine, become 
themselves a machine. 183 Such a state of things has no place in a 
changed organization of society. There is ample time for the acquisition 
of dexterity of hand and the exercise of artistic skill. Spacious 
training schools, equipped with all necessary comforts and technical 
perfections will facilitate to young and old the acquisition of any 
trade. Chemical and physical laboratories, up to all the demands of 
these sciences, and furnished with ample staffs of instructors will be 
in existence. Only then will be appreciated to its full magnitude what a 
w r orld of ambitions and faculties the capitalist system of production 
suppresses, or forces awiy into mistaken paths. 181 

It is not merely possible to have a regard for the need of change; it is 
the purpose of society to realize its satisfaction: the harmonious 
growth of man depends upon that. The professional physiognomies that 
modern society brings to the surface— whether the profession be in 
certain occupations of some sort or other, or in gluttony and idleness, 
or in compulsory tramping— will gradually vanish. There are to-day 
precious few r people with any opportunity of change in their occupations, 
or who exercise the same. Occasionally, individuals are found who, 
favored by circumstances, withdraw from the routine of their daily 

275 



pursuits and, after having paid their tribute to physical, recreate 
themselves with intellectual work; and conversely, brain workers are met 
off and on, who seek and find change in physical labors of some sort or 
other, handwork, gardening, etc. Every hygienist will confirm the 
invigorating effect of a pursuit that rests upon alternating physical 
and mental work; only such a pursuit is natural. The only qualification 
is that it be moderately indulged, and in proportion to the strength of 
the individual. 

Leo Tolstoi lashes the hypertrophic and unnatural character that art and 
science have assumed under the unnatural conditions of modern 
society. 185 He severely condemns the contempt for physical labor 
entertained in modern society, and he recommends a return to natural 
conditions. Every being, who means to live according to the laws of 
nature and enjoy life, should divide the day between, first, physical 
field labor; secondly, hand work; thirdly, mental work; fourthly, 
cultured and companionable intercourse. More than eight hours' physical 
work should not be done. Tolstoi, who practices this system of life, and 
who, as he says, has felt himself human only since he put it into 
practice, perceives only what is possible to him, a rich, independent 
man, but wholly impossible to the large mass of mankind, under existing 
conditions. The person who must do hard physical work every day ten, 
twelve and more hours, to gain a meager existence, and who was brought 
up in ignorance, can not furnish himself with the Tolstoian system of 
life. Neither can they, who are on the firing line of business life and 
are compelled to submit to its exactions. The small minority who could 
imitate Tolstoi have, as a rule, no need to do so. It is one of the 
illusions that Tolstoi yields to, the belief that social systems can be 
changed by preaching and example. [Tolstoi's experiences with] 
his system of life prove how rational the same is; in order, however, to 
introduce such a system of life as a social custom, a social foundation 
is requisite other than the present. It requires a new society. 

Futuie society will have such a foundation; it will have scientists and 
ai fists of all sorts in abundance; but all of them will work physically 
a part of the day, and devote the rest, according to their liking; to 
study, the aits or companionable inter couise. im 

The existing contrast between mental and manual labor— a contrast that 
the ruling classes seek to render as pronounced as possible with the 
view of seeming for themselves also the intellectual means of 
sovereignty— will likewise be removed. 

It follows from the preceding arguments that crises and compulsory 
idleness are impossible phenomena in the new social order. Crises arise 
from the circumstance that individualist, capitalist production— incited 
by profit and devoid of all reliable gauge with which to ascertain the 

276 



actual demand— brings an overstocking of the world's market, and thus 
overproduction. The merchandise feature of the products under 
capitalism, of the products that their owners endeavor to exchange, 
makes the use of the product dependent upon the consumer's capacity to 
buy. The capacity to buy is, however, limited, in so far as the 
overwhelming majority are concerned, they being under-paid for their 
labor, or even wholly unable to sell the same if the capitalist does not 
happen to be able to squeeze a surplus value out of it. The capacity to 
buyaiid the capacity to consume aie two wholly distinct tilings in 
capitalist society. Many millions of people are in want of clothes, 
shoes, furniture, linen, eatables and drinkables, but they have no 
money, and their wants, i.e., their capacity to consume, remains 
unsatisfied. The market is glutted with goods, but the masses suffer 
hunger; they are willing to work, but they find none to buy their 
labor-power because the holder of money sees nothing to "make" in the 
purchase. "Die, canaille; become vagabonds, criminals! I, the 
capitalist, can not help it. I have no use for goods that I have no 
purchaser to buy from me with corresponding profit." And, in a way, the 
man is right. 

In the new social order this contradiction is wiped out. Socialist 
society produces not "merchandise," in order to "buy" and to "sell;" it 
produces necessaiies of life, that are used, consumed, and otherwise 
have no object. In Socialist society, accordingly, the capacity to 
consume is not bounded, as in bourgeois society, by the individual's 
capacity to buy; it is bounded by the collective capacity to produce. 
If labor and instruments of labor are in existence, all wants can be 
satisfied; the social capacity to consume is bounded only by the 
satisfaction of the consumers. 

There being no "merchandise" in Socialist society, neither can there be 
any "money." Money is the visible contrast of merchandise; yet itself is 
merchandise! Money, though itself merchandise, is at the same time the 
social equivalent for all other articles of merchandise. But Socialist 
society produces no articles of merchandise, only articles of use and 
necessity, whose production requires a certain measure of social labor. 
The time, on an average requisite for the production of an article is 
the only standard by which it is measured for social use. Ten minutes 
social labor in one article are equal to ten minutes social labor in 
another— neither more nor less. Society is not "on the make"; it only 
seeks to effect among its members the exchange of articles of equal 
quality, equal utility. It need not even set up a standard of use value. 
It merely produces what it needs. If society finds that a three-hour 
work day is requisite for the production of all that is needed, it 
establishes such a term of work. 18 ' If the methods of production 
improve in such wise that the supply can be raised in two hours, the 
two-hour work day is established. If, on the contrary, society demands 

277 



the gratification of higher wants than, despite the increase of forces 
and the improved productivity of the process of labor, can be satisfied 
with two or three hours work, then the four-hour day is introduced. Its 
will is law. 

How much social labor will be requisite for the production of any 
article is easily computed. 188 The relation of the part to the whole 
of the working time is measured accordingly. Any voucher— a printed 
piece of paper, gold or tin— certifies to the time spent in work, and 
enables its possessor to exchange it for articles of various kinds. 189 
If he finds that his wants are smaller than what he receives for his 
labor, he then works proportionally shorter horns. If he wishes to give 
away what he does not consume, nothing hinders him. If he is disposed to 
work for another out of his own free will, so that the latter may revel 
in the dolce far niente,—\i die chooses to be such a blockhead, 
nothing hinders him. But none can compel him to work for another; none 
can withhold from him a part of what is due him for labor performed. 
Everyone can satisfy all his legitimate desires— only not at the expense 
of others. He receives the equivalent of what he has rendered to 
society— neither more nor less, and he remains free from all 
exploitation by third parties. 

"But what becomes of the difference between the lazy and the 
industrious? between the intelligent and the stupid?" That is one of the 
principal questions from our opponents, and the answer gives them no 
slight headache. That this distinction between the "lazy" and the 
"industrious," the "intelligent" and the "stupid" is not made in our 
civil service hierarchy, but that the term of service decides in the 
matter of salary and generally of promotion also— these are facts that 
occur to none of these would-be puzzlers and wiseacres. The teachers, 
the professors— and as a rule the latter are the silliest 
questioners— move into their posts, not according to their own 
qualities, but according to the salaries that these posts bring. That 
promotions in the army and in the hierarchies of the civil service and 
the learned professions are often made, not according to worth, but 
according to birth, friendship and female influence, is a matter of 
public notoriety. That, however, wealth also is not measured by 
diligence and intelligence may be judged by the Berlin inn-keepers, 
bakers and butchers, to whom grammar often is a mystery, and who figure 
in the first of the three classes of the Prussian electorate, while the 
intellectuals of Berlin, the men of science, the highest magistrates of 
the Empire and the state, vote with the second class. There is not now 
any difference between the "lazy" and the "diligent," the "intelligent" 
and the "stupid" for the simple reason that what is understood by these 
terms exists no longer. A "lazy" fellow society only calls him who has 
been thrown out of work, is compelled to lead a vagabond's life and 
finally does become a vagabond, or who, grown up under improper 

278 



training, sinks into vice. But to style "lazy fellow" the man who rolls 
in money and kills the day with idleness or debauchery, would be an 
insult: he is a "worthy and good man." 

How do matters stand in Socialist society? All develop under equal 
conditions, and each is active in that to which inclination and skill 
point him, whence differences in work will be but insignificant. 190 
The intellectual and moral atmosphere of society, which stimulates all 
to excel one another, likewise aids in equalizing such differences. If 
any person finds that he cannot do as much as others on a certain held, 
he chooses another that corresponds with his strength and faculties. 
Whoever has worked with a large number of people in one establishment 
knows that men who prove themselves unfit and useless in a certain line, 
do excellent work in another. There is no normally constructed being who 
fails to meet the highest demands in one line or another, the moment he 
finds himself in the right place. By what right does any claim 
precedence over another? If any one has been treated so step-motherly by 
nature that with the best will he can not do what others can, society 
has no right to punish him for the shortcomings ofnatuie. If, on the 
contrary, a person has received from nature gifts that raise him above 
others, society is not obliged to reward what is not Ms personal 
desert. In Socialist society all enjoy equal conditions of life and 
opportunities for education; all are furnished the same opportunities to 
develop their knowledge and powers according to their respective 
capacities and inclinations. In this lies a further guarantee that not 
only will the standard of culture and powers be higher in Socialist than 
in bourgeois society, but also that both will be more equally 
distributed and yet be much more manifold. 

When, on a journey up the Rhine, Goethe studied the Cathedral of 
Cologne, he discovered in the archives that the old master-builders paid 
their workmen equal wages for equal time. They did so because they 
wished to get good and conscientious work. This looks like an anomaly to 
modern bourgeois society. It introduced the system of piece-work, that 
drives the workingmen to out-work one another, and thus aids the 
employer in underpaying and in reducing wages. 

As with manual, so with mental work. Man is the product of the time and 
circumstances that he lives in. A Goethe, born under equally favorable 
conditions in the fourth, instead of the eighteenth, century might have 
become, instead of a distinguished poet and naturalist, a great Father 
of the Church, who might have thrown St. Augustine into the shade. If, 
on the other hand, instead of being the son of a rich Frankfurt 
patrician, Goethe had been born the son of a poor shoemaker of the same 
town, he never would have become the Minister of the Grand Duke of 
Weimar, but would probably have remained a shoemaker, and died an 
honorable member of the craft. Goethe himself recognized the advantage 

279 



he had in being born in a materially and socially favorable station in 

order to reach his stage of development. It so appears in his "Wilhelm 

Meister." Were Napoleon I. born ten years later, he never would have 

been Emperor of France. Without the war of 1870-1871, Gambetta had never 

become what he did become. Place the naturally gifted child of 

intelligent parents among savages, and he becomes a savage. Whatever a 

man is, society has made him. Ideas are not creations that spring from 

the head of the individual out of nothing, or through inspiration from 

above; they are products of social life, of the spirit of the age, 

raised in the head of the individual. An Aristotle could not possibly 

have the ideas of a Darwin, and a Darwin could not choose but think 

otherwise than an Aristotle. Man thinks according as the spirit of the 

age, i.e., his surroundings and the phenomena that they present to him 

drive him to think. Hence the experience of different people often 

thinking simultaneously the same thing, of the same inventions and 

discoveries being made simultaneously in places far apart from each 

other. Hence also the fact that an idea, uttered fifty years too early, 

leaves the world cold; fifty years later, sets it ablaze. Emperor 

Sigismund could risk breaking his word to Huss in 1415 and order him 

burned in Constance; Charles V., although a more violent fanatic, was 

compelled to allow Luther to depart in peace from the [Diet] at Worms 

in 1521. Ideas are, accordingly, the product of combined social causes 

and social life. What is true of society in general, is true in 

particular of the several classes that, at given historic epochs, 

constitute society. As each class has its special interests, it also has 

its special ideas and views, that lead to those class struggles of which 

recorded history is full, and that reach their climax in the class 

antagonisms and class struggles of modern days. Hence, it depends not 

merely upon the age in which a man lives, but also upon the social 

stratum of a certain age in which he lived or lives, and whereby his 

feelings, thoughts and actions are determined. 

Without modern society, no modern ideas. That is obvious. With regard to 
the future social order, it must be furthermore added that the means 
whereby the individual develops are the property of society. Society 
can, accordingly, not be bound to render special homage to what itself 
made possible and is its own product. 

So much on the qualification of manual and brain work. It follows that 
there can be no real distinction between "higher" and "lower" manual 
work, such as not infrequently a mechanic to-day affects towards the 
day-laborer, who performs work on the street, or the like. Society 
demands only socially necessary work; hence all work is of equal value 
to society. If work that is disagreeable and repulsive can not be 
performed mechanically or chemically and by some process converted into 
work that is agreeable— a prospect that may not be put in doubt, seeing 
the progress made on the fields of technique and chemistry— and if the 

280 



necessary volunteer forces can not be raised, then the obligation lies 
upon each, as soon as is his turn, to do his part. False ideas of shame, 
absurd contempt for useful work, become obsolete conceptions. These 
exist only in our society of drones, where to do nothing is regarded as 
an enviable lot, and the worker is despised in proportion to the 
hardness and disagreeableness of his work, and in proportion to its 
social usefulness. To-day work is badly paid in proportion as it is 
disagreeable. The reason is that, [because of] the constant revolutionizing of 
the process of production, a permanent mass of superfluous labor lies on 
the street, and, in order to live, sells itself for such vile work, and 
at such prices that the introduction of machinery in these departments 
of labor does not "pay." Stone-breaking, for instance, is proverbially 
one of the worst paid and most disagreeable kinds of work. It [would be] a 
trilling matter to have the stone-breaking done by machinery, as in the 
United States; but we have such a mass of cheap labor-power that the 
machine would not "pay." 191 Street and sewer cleaning, the carting 
away of refuse, underground work of all sorts, etc., could, with the aid 
of machinery and technical contrivances, even at our present state of 
development, be all done in such manner that no longer would any trace 
of disagreeableness attach to the work. Carefully considered, the 
workingman who cleans out a sewer and thereby protects people from 
miasmas, is a veiy useful member of society; whereas a professor who 
teaches falsified history in the interest of the ruling classes, or a 
theologian who seeks to befog the mind with supernatural and 
transcendental doctrines are highly injurious beings. 

The learned fraternity of to-day, clad in offices and dignities, to a 
large extent represents a guild intended and paid to defend and justify 
the rule of the leading classes with the authority of science; to make 
them appear good and necessary; and to prop up existing superstitions. 
In point of fact this guild is largely engaged in the trade of quackery 
and brain-poisoning— a work injurious to civilization, intellectual 
wage-labor in the interest of the capitalist class and its clients. 192 
A social condition, that should make impossible the existence of such 
elements, would perform an act towards the liberation of humanity. 

Genuine science, on the other hand, is often connected with highly 
disagreeable and repulsive work, such, for instance, as when a physician 
examines a coipse in a state of decomposition, or operates on supurating 
w r ounds, or when a chemist makes experiments. These often are labors more 
repulsive than the most repulsive ones ever performed by day-laborers 
and untutored w r orkingmen. Few r recognize the fact. The difference lies in 
that the one requires extensive studies in order to perform it, whereas 
the other can be performed by anyone without preparatory studies. Hence 
the radical difference in the estimation of the two. But in a society 
where, in virtue of the amplest opportunities of education afforded to 
all, the present distinction between "cultured" and "uncultured" ceases 

281 



to exist, the contrast is likewise bound to vanish between learned and 
unlearned work, all the more seeing that technical development knows no 
limits and manual labor may be likewise performed by machinery or 
technical contrivances. We need but look at the development of our art 
handicrafts— xylography and copper-etching, for instance. As it turns 
out that the most disagreeable kinds of work often are the most useful, 
so also is our conception regarding agreeable and disagreeable work, 
like so many other modern conceptions, utterly superficial; it is a 
conception that has an eye to externals only. 



The moment production is carried on in Socialist society upon the lines 
traced above, it no longer produces "merchandise," but only articles of 
use for the direct demand of society. Commerce, accordingly, ceases, 
having its sense and reason for being only in a social system that rests 
upon the production of goods for sale. A large army of persons of both 
sexes is thus set free for productive work. 193 This large army, set 
free for production, not only increases the volume of wealth produced, 
but makes possible a reduction of the hours of work. These people are 
to-day more or less parasites: they are supported by the work of others: 
in many instances they must toil diligently in return for a meagre 
existence. In Socialist society they are superfluous as merchants, 
hosts, brokers and agents. In lieu of the dozens, hundreds and thousands 
of stores and commercial establishments of all sorts, that to-day every 
community holds in proportion to its size, large municipal stores step 
in, elegant bazaars, actual exhibitions, requiring a relatively small 
administrative personnel. This change in itself represents a revolution 
in all previous institutions. The tangled mass of modern commerce is 
transformed into a centralized and purely administrative department, 
with only the simplest of functions, that can not choose but grow still 
simpler through the progressive centralization of all social 
institutions. Likewise does the whole system of transportation and 
communication undergo a complete change. 

The telegraph, railroads, post office, river and ocean vessels, street 
railways— whatever the names of the vehicles and institutions may be 
that attend to the transportation and communication of capitalist 
society— now become social property. Many of these institutions— post 
offices, telegraph and railroads generally— are now state institutions 
in Germany. Their transformation into social property presents no 
difficulties: there no private interests are left to hurt: if the state 
continues to develop in that direction, all the better. But these 
institutions, administered by the state, are no Socialist institutions, 
as they are mistakenly taken for. They are business plants, that are 
exploited as capitalistically as if they were in private hands. Neither 
the officers nor the workingmen have any special benefit from them. The 
state treats them just as any private capitalist. When, for instance, 

282 



orders were issued not to engage any workingnian over 40 years of age in 
the railway or marine service of the Empire, the measure carrie [d] on its 
brows the class stamp of the state of the exploiters, and is bound to 
raise the indignation of the working class. Such and similar measures 
that proceed from the state as an employer of labor are even worse than 
if they proceed from private employers. As against the state, the latter 
is but a small employer, and the occupation that this one denies another 
might grant. The state, on the contrary, being a monopolistic employer, 
can, at one stroke, cast thousands of people into misery with its 
regulations. That is not Socialist, it is capitalist conduct; and the 
Socialist guards against allowing the present state ownership being 
regarded as Socialism, or the realization of Socialist aspirations. In a 
Socialist institution there are no employers. The leader, chosen for the 
purpose, can only carry out the orders and superintend the execution of 
the disciplinary and other measures prescribed by the collectivity 
itself. 

As in the instance of the millions of private producers, dealers and 
middlemen of all sorts, large centralized establishments take their 
place, so does the whole system of transportation and communication 
assume new shape. The myriads of small shipments to as many consignees 
that consume a mass of powers and of time, now grow into large shipments 
to the municipal depots and the central places of production. Here also 
labor is simplified. The transportation of raw material to an 
establishment of a thousand workers is an infinitely simpler matter than 
to a thousand small and scattered establishments. Thus centralized 
localities of production and of transportation for whole communities, or 
divisions of the same, will introduce a great saving of time, of labor, 
of material, and of means both of production and distribution. The 
benefit accrues to the whole community, and to each individual therein. 
The physiognomy of our productive establishments, of our system of 
transportation and communication, especially also of our habitations, 
will be completely altered for the better. The nerve-racking noise, 
crowding and rushing of our large cities with their thousands of 
vehicles of all sorts ceases substantially: society assumes an aspect of 
greater repose. The opening of streets and their cleaning, the whole 
system of life and of intercourse acquires new character. Hygienic 
measures— possible to-day only at great cost and then only partially, 
not infrequently only in the quarters of the rich— can be introduced 
with ease everywhere. To-day "the common people" do not need them; they 
can wait till the funds are ready; and these never are. 

Such a system of communication and transportation can not then choose 
but reach a high grade of perfection. Who knows but aerial navigation 
may then become a chief means of travel. The lines of transportation and 
communication are the arteries that cany the exchange of 
products— circulation of the blood— throughout the whole body social, 

283 



that effect personal and mental intercourse between man and man. They 
are, consequently, highly calculated to establish an equal level of 
well-being and culture throughout society. The extension and 
ramification of the most perfect means of transportation and 
communication into the remotest corners of the land is, accordingly, a 
necessity mid a matter of general social interest. On this held there 
arise before the new social system tasks that go far beyond any that 
modern society can put to itself. Finally, such a perfected system of 
transportation and communication, will promote the decentralization of 
the mass of humanity that is to-day heaped up in the large cities. It 
will distribute the same over the country, and thus— in point of 
sanitation as well as of mental and material progress— it will assume a 
significance of inestimable value. 



Among the means of production in industry and transportation, land holds 
a leading place, being the source of all human effort and the foundation 
of all human existence, hence, of society itself. Society resumes at its 
advanced stage of civilization, what it originally possessed. Among all 
races on earth that reached a certain minimum degree of culture, we find 
community in land, and the system continues in force with such people 
wherever they are still in existence. Community in land constituted the 
foundation of all primitive association: the latter was impossible 
without the former. Not until the rise and development of private 
property and of the forms of rulership therewith connected, and then 
only under a running struggle, that extends deep into our own times, was 
the system of common ownership in land ended, and the land usurped as 
private property. The robbery of the land and its transformation into 
private property furnished, as we have seen, the first source of that 
bondage that, extending from chattel slavery to the "freedom" of the 
wage-earner of our own century, has rim through all imaginable stages, 
until finally the enslaved, after a development of thousands of years 
re-convert the land into common property. 

The importance of land to human existence is such that in all social 
struggles the world has ever known— whether in India, China, Egypt, 
Greece (Cleomenes), Rome (the Gracchi), Christian Middle Ages (religious 
sects, Muenzer, the Peasants War), in the empires of the Aztecs and of 
the Incas, or in the several upheavals of latter days— the possession of 
land is the principal aim of the combatants. And even to-day, the public 
ownership of land finds its justifiers in such men as Adolf Samter, 
Adolf Wagner, Dr. Schaeffle, who on other domains of the social question 
are ready to rest content with half-measures. 194 

The well-being of the population depends first of all upon the proper 
cultivation of the land. To raise the same to the highest degree of 
perfection is eminently a matter of public concern. That the 

284 



cultivation of the land can reach the necessary high degree of 
perfection neither under the large, nor the middle, least of all under 
the small landlord system, has been previously shown. The most 
profitable cultivation of land depends not merely upon the special care 
bestowed upon it. Elements come here into consideration that neither the 
largest private holder, nor the mightiest association of these is equal 
to cope with. These are elements that lap over, even beyond the reach of 
the state and require international treatment. 

Society must first of all consider the land as a whole— its 
topographical qualities, its mountains, plains, woods, lakes, rivers, 
ponds, heaths, swamps, moors, etc. The topography, together with the 
geographical location of land, both of which are unchangeable, exercises 
certain influences upon climate and the qualities of the soil. Here is 
an immense field on which a mass of experience is to be gathered and a 
mass of experiments to be made. What the state has done until now in 
this line is meager. What with the small means that it applies to these 
purposes, and what with the limitations imposed upon it by the large 
landlords, who even if the state were willing, would check it, little or 
nothing has been done. The state could do nothing on this field without 
greatly encroaching upon private property. Seeing, however, that its 
veiy existence is conditioned upon the safe-keeping and "sacredness" of 
private property, the large landlords are vital to it, and it is 
stripped of the power, even if it otherwise had the will, to move in 
that direction. Socialist society will have the task of undertaking vast 
improvements of the soil,— raising woods here, and dismantling others 
yonder, draining and irrigating, mixing and changing of soil, planting, 
etc., in order to raise the land to the highest point of productivity 
that it is capable of. 

An important question, connected with the improvement of the land, is 
the contrivance of an ample and systematically planned network of rivers 
and canals, conducted upon scientific principles. The question of 
"cheaper" transportation on the waterways— a question of such gravity to 
modern society— loses all importance in Socialist society, seeing that 
the conceptions "cheap" and "dear" are unknown to it. On the other hand, 
however, waterways, as comfortable means of transportation, that can, 
moreover, be utilized with but slight expenditure of strength and 
matter, deserve attention. Moreover river and canal systems play 
important roles in the matter of climate, draining and irrigation, and 
the supply of fertilizers and other materials needed in the improvement 
of agricultural land. 

Experience teaches that poorly-watered regions suffer more severely from 
cold winters and hot summers than well-watered lands, whence coast 
regions are exempt from the extremes of temperature, or rarely undergo 
them. Extremes of temperature are favorable neither to plants nor man. 

285 



Ail extensive system of canalization, in connection with the proper 
forestry regulations, would unquestionably exercise beneficent 
influences. Such a system of canalization, along with the building of 
large reservoirs, that will collect the water in cases of freshets 
through thaws or heavy rainfalls, would be of great usefulness. Freshets 
and their devastating results would be impossible. Wide expanses of 
water, together with their proportional evaporations, would also, in all 
probability, bring about a more regular rain-fall. Finally such 
institutions would facilitate the erection of works for an extensive 
system of irrigation whenever needed. 

Large tracts of land, until now wholly barren or almost so, could be 
transformed into fertile regions by means of artificial irrigation. 
Where now sheep can barely graze, and at best consimiptive-looking pine 
trees raise their thin arms heavenward, rich crops could grow and a 
dense population find ample nutriment. It is merely a question of labor 
whether the vast sand tracts of the Mark, the "holy dust-box of the 
German Empire," shall be turned into an Eden. The fact was pointed out 
in an address delivered in the spring of 1894 on the occasion of the 
agricultural exposition in Berlin. 195 The requisite improvements, 
canals, provisions for irrigation, mixing of soil, etc., are matters, 
however, that can be undertaken neither by the small nor the large 
landlords of the Mark. Hence those vast tracts, lying at the very gates 
of the capital of the Empire, remain in a state of such backward 
cultivation that it will seem incredible to future generations. Again, a 
proper canalization would, by draining, reclaim for cultivation vast 
swamps and marshes in North as well as South Germany. These waterways 
could be furthermore utilized in raising fish; they could thus be vast 
sources of food; in neighborhoods where there are no rivers, they would 
furnish opportunity for commodious bath-houses. 

Let a few examples illustrate the effectiveness of irrigation. In the 
neighborhood of Weissensfels, 7 1/2 hectares of well-watered meadows 
produced 480 cwt. of after-grass; 5 contiguous hectares of meadow land 
of the same quality, but not watered, yielded only 32 cwt. The former 
had, accordingly, a crop ten times as large as the latter. Near Reisa in 
Saxony, the irrigation of 65 acres of meadow lands raised their revenue 
from 5,850 marks to 11,100 marks. The expensive outlays paid. Besides 
the Mark there are in Germany other vast tracts, whose soil, consisting 
mainly of sand, yields but poor returns, even when the summer is wet. 
Crossed and irrigated by canals, and their soil improved, these lands 
would within a short time yield five and ten times as much. There are 
examples in Spain of the yield of well-irrigated lands exceeding 
thirty-seven fold that of others that are not irrigated. Let there but 
be water, and increased volumes of food are conjured into existence. 

Where are the private individuals, where the states, able to operate 

286 



upon the requisite scale? When, after long decades of bitter experience, 
the state finally yields to the stormy demands of a population that has 
suffered from all manner of calamities, and only after millions of 
values have been destroyed, how slow, with what circumspection, how 
[cautiously] does it proceed! It is so easy to do too much, and the state 
might by its precipitancy lose the means with which to build some new 
barracks for the accommodation of a few regiments. Then also, if one is 
helped "too much," others come along, and also want help. "Man, help 
yourself and God will help you," thus rims the bourgeois creed. Each for 
himself, none for all. And thus, hardly a year goes by without once, 
twice and oftener more or less serious freshets from brooks, rivers or 
streams occurring in several provinces and states: vast tracts of 
fertile lands are then devastated by the violence of the floods, and 
others are covered with sand, stone and all manner of debris; whole 
orchard plantations, that demanded tens of years for their growth, are 
uprooted; houses, bridges, dams are washed aw r ay; railroad tracks torn 
up; catde, not infrequently human beings also, are drowned; soil 
improvements are carried off; crops ruined. Vast tracts, exposed to 
frequent inundations, are cultivated but slightly, lest the loss be 
double. 

On the other hand, unskilful corrections of the channels of large rivers 
and streams,— undertaken in one-sided interests, to which the state ever 
yields readily in the service of "trade and transportation"— increase 
the dangers of freshets. Extensive cutting down of forests, especially 
on highlands and for private profit, adds more grist to the flood mill. 
The marked deterioration of the climate and decreased productivity of 
the soil, noticeable in the provinces of Prussia, Pomerania, the 
Steuermark, Italy, France, Spain, etc., [can be blamed on this senseless] 
devastation of the w r oods, done in the interest of private parties. 

Frequent freshets are the consequence of the dismantling of mountain 
woodlands. The inundations of the Rhine, the Oder and the Vistula are 
ascribed mainly to the devastation of the w r oods in Switzerland, Galicia 
and Poland; and likewise in Italy with regard to the Po. [Because of] the 
baring of the Carnian Alps, the climate of Triest and Venice has 
materially deteriorated. Madeira, a large part of Spain, vast and once 
luxurious fields of Asia Minor have in a great measure forfeited their 
fertility through the same causes. 

It goes without saying that Socialist society will not be able to 
accomplish all these great tasks out-of-hand. But it can and will 
undertake them, with all possible promptness and with all the powers at 
its command, seeing that its sole mission is to solve problems of 
civilization and to tolerate no hindrance. Thus it will in the course of 
time solve problems and accomplish feats that modern society can give no 
thought to, and the very thought of which gives it the vertigo. 

287 



The cultivation of the soil will, accordingly, be mightily improved in 
Socialist society, through these and similar measures. But other 
considerations, looking to the proper exploitation of the soil, are 
added to these. To-day, many square miles are planted with potatoes, 
which are to be applied mainly to the distilling of brandy, an article 
consumed almost exclusively by the poor classes of the population. 
Liquor is the only stimulant and "care-dispeller" that they are able to 
procure. The population of Socialist society needs none of that, hence 
the raising of potatoes and corn for that purpose, together with the 
labor therein expended, are set free for the production of healthy 
food. 196 The speculative purposes that our most fertile fields are put 
to in the matter of the sugar beet for the exportation of sugar, have 
been pointed out in a previous chapter. About 400,000 hectares of the 
best wheat fields are yearly devoted to the cultivation of sugar beet, 
in order to supply England, the United States and Northern Europe with 
sugar. The countries whose climate favors the growth of sugar cane 
succumb to this competition. Furthermore, our system of a standing army, 
the disintegration of production, the disintegration of the means of 
transportation and communication, the disintegration of agriculture, 
etc.,— all these demand him dreds of thousands of horses, with the 
corresponding fields to feed them and to raise colts. The completely 
transformed social and political conditions free the bulk of the lands 
that are now given up to these various purposes; and again large areas 
and rich labor-power are reclaimed for purposes of civilization. 
Latterly, extensive fields, covering many square kilometers, have been 
withdrawn from cultivation, being needed for the manoeuvering and 
exercising of army coips in the new methods of warfare and long 
distance firearms. All this falls away. 

The vast field of agriculture, forestry and irrigation has become the 
subject of an extensive scientific literature. No special branch has 
been left untouched: irrigation and drainage, forestry, the cultivation 
of cereals, of leguminous and tuberous plants, of vegetables, of fruit 
trees, of berries, of flowers and ornamental plants; fodder for cattle 
raising; meadows; rational methods of breeding cattle, fish and poultry 
and bees, and the utilization of their' excrements; utilization of manure 
and refuse in agriculture and manufacture; chemical examinations of 
seeds and of the soil, to ascertain its fitness for this or that crop; 
investigations in the rotations of crops and in agricultural machinery 
and implements; the profitable construction of agricultural buildings of 
all nature; the weather;— all have been drawn within the circle of 
scientific treatment. Hardly a day goes by without some new discovery, 
some new experience being made towards improving and ennobling one or 
other of these several branches. With the work of J. v. Liebig, the 
cultivation of the soil has become a science, indeed, one of the 
foremost and most important of all, a science that since then has 

288 



attained a vastiiess and significance unique in the domain of activity in 
material production. And yet, if we compare the fullness of the progress 
made in this direction with the actual conditions prevailing in 
agriculture to-day, it must be admitted that, until now, only a small 
fraction of the private owners have been able to tuin the progress to 
advantage, and among these there naturally is none who did not proceed 
from the viewpoint of his own private interests, acted accordingly, 
kept only that in mind, and gave no thought to the public weal. The 
large majority of our farmers and gardeners, we may say 98 per cent, of 
them, are in no wise in condition to utilize all the advances made and 
advantages that are possible: they lack either the means or the 
knowledge thereto, if not both: as to the others, they simply do as they 
please. Socialist society finds herein a theoretically and practically 
well prepared held of activity. It need but to fall to and organize in 
order to attain wonderful results. 

The highest possible concentration of [holdings] affords, of itself, 
mighty advantages. Hedges, making boundary lines, wagon roads and 
footpaths between the broken-up holdings are removed, and yield some 
more available soil. The application of machinery is possible only on 
large fields: agricultural machinery of fullest development, backed by 
chemistry and physics could to-day transform unprofitable lands, of 
which there are not a few, into fertile ones. The application of 
accumulated electric power to agricultural machinery— plows, harrows, 
rollers, sowers, mowers, threshers, seed-assorters, chaff-cutters, 
etc.— is only a question of time. Likewise will the day come when 
electricity will move from the fields the wagons laden with the crops: 
draught cattle can be spared. A scientific system of fertilizing the 
fields, hand in hand with thorough management, irrigation and draining 
will materially increase the productivity of the land. A careful 
selection of seeds, proper protection against weeds— in itself a head 
much sinned against to-day— sends [the yield] up still higher. 

According to Ruhland, a successful war upon cereal diseases would of 
itself suffice to render superfluous the present importation of grain 
into Germany. 19 ' Seeding, planting and rotation of crops, being 
conducted with the sole end in view of raising the largest possible 
volume of food, the object is then obtainable. 

What may be possible even under present conditions is shown by the 
management of the Schnistenberg farm in the Rhenish Palatinate. In 1884 
the same fell into the hand of a new tenant, who, in the course of eight 
years, raised three or four times as much as his predecessor. 198 [This] 
property is situated 320 meters above the level of the sea, 286 
acres in size, of which 18 are meadows, and has generally unfavorable 
soil, 30 acres being sandy, 60 stony, 55 sand loam and 123 hard loam. 
The new r method of cultivation had astonishing results. The crops rose 

289 



from year to year. The increase during the period of 1884-1892 was as 
follows per acre: 

Product. 1884. 1802. 

Rye 7.75 cwti. 19.60 cwta. 

Wheat 8.60 M 16 JO « 

Barley 18.00 " 18.86 " 

Oats 7.00 ■ 18.86 " 

The neighboring community of Kriegsfeld, the witness of this marvelous 
development, followed the example and reached similar results on its own 
ground. The yield per acre was on an average this: 

Product. 1884. , 1892. 

Wheat 10 to 12 cwta. 13 to 18 cwta. 

Rye 12 to 16 " 16 to 20 " 

Oats 7 to " 14 to 22 and even 24 

Barley 9 to 11 " 18 to 22 cwta. 

Such results are eloquent enough. 

The cultivation of fruits, berries and garden vegetables will reach a 
development hardly thought possible. How [irresponsibly we are sinning 
against our orchards at the present time] a look at our orchards will show. 
They are generally marked by a total absence of proper care. This is true 
of the cultivation of fruit trees even in countries that have a reputation for 
the excellence of these; Wuerttemberg, for instance. The concentration of 
stables, depots for implements and manure and methods of 
feeding— towards which wonderful progress has been made, but which can 
to-day be applied only slightly— will, when generally introduced, 
materially increase the returns in raising cattle, and thereby 
facilitate the procurement of manure. Machinery and implements of all 
sorts will be there in abundance, very differently from the experience 
of ninety-nine one hundredths of our modern farmers. Animal products, 
such as milk, eggs, meat, honey, hair, wool, will be obtained and 
utilized scientifically. The improvements and advantages in the dairy 
industry reached by the large daily associations is known to all 
experts, and ever new inventions and improvements are daily made. Many 
are the branches of agriculture in which the same and even better can be 
done. The preparation of the fields and the gathering of the crops are 
then attended to by large bodies of men, under skilful use of the 
weather, such as is to-day impossible. Large drying houses and sheds 
allow crops being gathered even in unfavorable weather, and save losses 
that are to-day unavoidable, and which, according to v. d. Goltz, often 
are so severe that, during a particularly rainy year, from eight to nine 
million marks worth of crops were ruined in Mecklenburg, and from twelve 
to fifteen in the district of Koenigsberg. 

Through the skilful application of artificial heat and moisture on a 
large scale in structures protected from bad weather, the raising of 

290 



vegetables and all manner of fruit is possible at all seasons in large 
quantities. The flower stores of our large cities have floral exhibitions 
[in mid-winter] that vie with those of the summer. One of the most 
remarkable advances made in the artificial raising of fruit is 
exemplified by the artificial vineyard of Garden-Director Haupt in 
Brieg, Silesia, which has found a number of imitators, and was itself 
preceded long before by a number of others in other countries, England 
among them. The arrangements and the results obtained in this vineyard 
were so enticingly described in the "Vossische Zeitung" of September 27, 
1890, that we have reproduced the account in extracts: 

"The glass-house is situated upon an approximately square held of 500 
square meters, i.e., one-fifth of an acre. It is 4.5 to 5 meters high, 
and its walls face north, south, east and west. Twelve rows of double 
fruit walls run inside due north and south. They are 1 .8 meters apart 
from each other and serve at the same time as supports to the flat roof. 
In a bed 1 .25 meters deep, resting on a bank of earth 25 centimeters 
strong and which contains a net of drain and ventilation pipes,— a bed 
'whose hard ground is rendered loose, permeable and fruitful through 
chalk, rubbish, sand, manure in a state of decomposition, bonedust and 
potash'— H err Haupt planted against the walls three hundred and sixty 
grape vines of the kind which yields the noblest grape juice in the 
Rhinegau:— white and red Reissling and Tramine, white and blue 
Moscatelle and Burgundy. 

"The ventilation of the place is effected by means of large fans, twenty 
meters long, attached to the roof, besides several openings on the 
side-walls. The fans can be opened and shut by means of a lever, 
fastened on the roof provided with a spindle and winch, and they can be 
made safe against all weather. For the watering of the vines 26 
sprinklers are used, which are fastened to rubber pipes 1 .25 meters 
long, and that hang down from a water tank. Herr Haupt introduced, 
however, another ingenious contrivance for quickly and thoroughly 
watering his 'wine-hall' and his 'vineyard', to wit, an artificial rain 
producer. On high, under the roof, lie four long copper tubes, 
perforated at distances of one-half meter. The streams of water that 
spout upward through these openings strike small round sieves made of 
window gauze and, filtered through these, are scattered in fine spray. 
To thoroughly water the vines by means of the rubber pipes requires 
several hours. But only one faucet needs to be turned by this second 
contrivance and a gentle refreshing rain trickles down over the whole 
place upon the grape vines, the beds and the granite flags of the walks. 
The temperature can be raised from 8 to 10 degrees R. above the outside 
air without any artificial contrivance, and simply through the natural 
qualities of the glass-house. In order to protect the vines from that 
dangerous and destructive foe, the vine louse, should it show itself, it 
is enough to close the drain and open all the water pipes. The 

291 



[parasite] can not withstand inundation of the vines, thus achieved. The 
glass roof and walls protect the vineyard from storms, cold, frost and 
superfluous rain; in cases of hail, a fine wire-netting is spread over 
the same; against drought the artificial rain system affords all the 
protection needed. The vine-dresser of such a vineyard is his own 
weather-maker, and he can laugh at all the dangers from the incalculable 
whims and caprices of indifferent and cruel nature,— dangers that ever 
threaten with ruin the fruit of the vine cultivator. 

"What Herr Haupt expected happened. The vines thrived remarkably under 
the uniformly warm climate. The grapes ripened to their fullest, and as 
early as the fall of 1 885 they yielded a juice not inferior to that 
generally obtained in the Rhinegau in point of richness of sugar and 
slightness of sourness. The grapes thrived equally the next year and 
even during the unfavorable year of 1887. On this space, when the vines 
have reached their full height of 5 meters, and are loaded with their 
burden of swollen grapes, 20 hectoliters of wine can be produced yearly, 
and the cost of a bottle of noble wine will not exceed 40 pennies. 

"There is no reason imaginable why this process should not be conducted 
upon a large scale like any other industry. Glass-houses of the nature 
of this one on one-fifth of an acre can undoubtedly [be] raised upon a 
whole acre with equal facilities of ventilation, watering, draining and 
rain-making. Vegetation will start there several weeks sooner than in 
the open, and the vine-shoots remain safe from May frosts, rain and cold 
while they blossom; from drought during the growth of the grapes; from 
pilfering birds and grape thieves and from dampness while they ripen; 
finally from the vine-louse during the whole year and can hang safely 
deep into November and December. In his address, held in 1888 to the 
Society for the Promotion of Horticulture, and from which I have taken 
many a technical expression in this description of the 'Vineyard', the 
inventor and founder of the same closed his words with this alluring 
perspective of the future: 'seeing that this vine culture can be carried 
on all over Germany, especially on otherwise barren, sandy or stony 
ground, such as, for instance, the worst of the Mark, that can be made 
arable and watered, it follows that the great interests in the 
cultivation of the soil receive fresh vigor from "vineyards under 
glass." I would like to call this industry "the vineyard of the 
future".' 

"Just as Heir Haupt has furnished the practical proof that on this path 
an abundance of fine and healthy grapes can be drawn from the vine, he 
has also proved by his own pressing of the same what excellent wine they 
can yield. More thorough, more experienced, better experts and tried 
wine-drinkers and connoisseurs than myself have, after a severe test, 
bestowed enthusiastic praise upon the Riessling of the vintage of '88, 
upon the Tramine and Moscatelle of the vintage of '89, and upon the 

292 



Burgundy of the vintage of '88, pressed from the grapes of this 
'vineyard'. It should also be mentioned that this 'vineyard' also 
affords sufficient space for the cultivation of other side and twin 
plants. Herr Haupt raises between every two vines one rose bush, that 
blossoms richly in April and May; against the east and west walls he 
raises peaches, whose beauty of blossom must impart in April an 
appearance of truly faiiy charm to this wine palace." 

The enthusiasm with which the reporter describes this artificial 
"vineyard" in a serious paper testifies to the deep impression made upon 
him by this extraordinary artificial cultivation. There is nothing to 
prevent similar establishments, on a much more stupendous scale and for 
other branches of vegetation. The luxury of a double crop is obtainable 
in many agricultural products. To-day all such undertakings are a 
question of money, and their products are accessible only to the 
privileged classes. A Socialist society knows no other question than 
that of sufficient labor-power. If that is in existence, the work is 
done in the interest of all. 

Another new invention on the held of food is that of Dr. Johann 
Hundhausen of Hamm in Westphalia, who succeeded in extracting the 
albumen of wheat— the secret of whose utilization in the legume was not 
yet known— in the shape of a thoroughly nutritive flour. This is a 
far-reaching invention. It is now possible to render the albumen of 
plants useful in substantial form for human food. 

The inventor erected a large factory which produces vegetal albumen or 
aleurone meal from 80 to 83 per cent, of albumen, and a second quality 
of about 50 per cent. That the so-called aleurone meal represents a veiy 
concentrated albuminous food appears from the following comparison with 
our best elements of nourishment: 











Carbon- 








Water 


Albumen 


Fat 


hydrate 


Cellulose 


Salt 


Aleurone meal . 


... 8.83 


82.87 


0.27 


7.01 


0.46 


0.78 




...73.67 


12.65 


12.11 


0.66 


0.66 


1.12 


Beef 


...65.42 


17.19 


26.68 






1.08 



Aleurone meal is not only eaten directly, it is also used as a condiment 
in all sorts of bakeiy products, as well as soups and vegetables. 
Aleurone meal substitutes in a high degree meat preserves in point of 
nutrition; moreover, it is by far the cheapest albumen obtainable 
to-day. One kilogram of albumen costs: 

In aleurone meal 1.45 marks 

In white bread or white flour 4 to 4.6 " 

In hen's eggs, according to the season. . . 8 to 16 " 
In beef 12 to 13 " 

Beef, accordingly, is about eight times dealer, as albuminous food, than 

293 



aleurone meal; eggs five times as dear; white bread or common white 
flour about three times as dear. Aleurone meal also has the advantage 
that, with the addition of about one-eighth of the weight of a potato, 
it not only furnishes a considerable quantity of albumen to the body, 
but produces a complete digestion of the starch contained in the potato. 
Dogs, that have a nose for albumen, eat aleurone meal with the same 
avidity as meat, even if they otherwise refuse bread, and they are then 
better able to stand hardships. 

Aleurone meal, as a dry vegetal albumen, is of great use as food on 
ships, in fortresses and in military hospitals during war. It renders 
large supplies of meat unnecessary. At present aleurone meal is a side 
product in starch factories. [In a short time], starch will become a side 
product of aleurone meal. A further result will be that the cultivation 
of cereals will crowd out that of potatoes and other less productive 
food plants; the volume of nutrition of a given field of wheat or lye is 
tripled or quadrupled at one stroke. 

Dr. Rudolf Meyer of Vienna, whose attention was called by us to the 
aleurone meal says 199 that he furnished himself with a quantity of it 
and had it examined on June 1 9, 1 893, by the bureau of experiments of 
the Board of Soil Cultivation of the Kingdom of Bohemia. The examination 
fully confirmed our statements. For further details Meyer's work should 
be read. Meyer also calls attention to a discovery made by Otto Redemann 
of Bockenheim near Frankfurt am Main. After granulating the peanut 
and removing its oil, he analyzed its component elements of nutrition. 
The analysis showed 47 per cent, of albumen, 19 of fat and 19 of 
starch— altogether 2,135 units of nutritious matter in one kilo. 
According to this analysis the peanut is one of the most nutritious 
vegetal products. The pharmacist Rud. Simpson of Mohrungen discovered a 
process by which to remove the bitterness from the lupine, which, as may 
be known, thrives best on sandy soil, and is used both as fodder and as 
a fertilizer; and he then produced from it a meal, which, according to 
expert authority, baked as bread tastes very good, is solid, is said to 
be more nutritious than rye-bread, and, besides all that, much cheaper. 

Even under present conditions a regular revolution is plowing its way in 
the matter of human food. The utilization of all these discoveries is, 
however, slow, for the reason that mighty classes— the fainier element 
together with its social and political props— have the liveliest 
interest in suppressing them. To our agrarians, a good crop is to-day a 
horror— although the same is prayed for in all the churches— because it 
lowers prices. Consequently, they are no wise anxious for a double and 
threefold nutritive power of their cereals; it would likewise tend to 
lower prices. Present society is everywhere at fisticuffs with its own 
development. 



294 



The preservation of the soil in a state of fertility depends primarily 
upon fertilization. The obtaining of fertilizers is, accordingly, for 
future society also one of the principal tasks. 200 Manure is to the 
soil what food is to man, and just as every kind of food is not equally 
nourishing to man, neither is every kind of manure of equal benefit to 
the soil. The soil must receive back exactly the same chemical 
substances that it gave up through a crop; and the chemical substances 
especially needed by a certain vegetable must be given to the soil in 
larger quantities. Hence the study of chemistry and its practical 
application will experience a development unknown to-day. 

Animal and human excrements are particularly rich in the chemical 
elements that are fittest for the reproduction of human food. Hence the 
endeavor must be to secure the same in the fullest quantity and cause 
its proper distribution. On this head too modern society sins 
grievously. Cities and industrial centers, that receive large masses of 
foodstuffs, return to the soil but a slight part of their valuable 
offal. 201 The consequence is that the fields, situated at great 
distances from the cities and industrial centers, and which yearly send 
their products to the same, suffer greatly from a dearth of manure; the 
offal that these farms themselves yield is often not enough, because the 
men and beasts who live on them consume but a small part of the product. 
Thus frequently a soil-vandalism is practiced, that cripples the land 
and decreases the crops. All countries that export agricultural products 
mainly, but receive no manure back, inevitably go to ruin through the 
gradual impoverishment of the soil. This is the case with Hungary, 
Russia, the Danubian Principalities, North America, etc. Artificial 
fertilizers, guano in particular, indeed substitute [for] the offal of men and 
beasts; but many farmers can not obtain the same in sufficient 
quantity; it is too dear; at any rate, it is an inversion of nature to 
import manure from great distances, while it is allowed to go to waste 
nearby. 

[For several years] the Thomas-slag [has] been recognized as an eminently 
fit manure for certain soils. The manufacturers, however, who grind the 
Thomas-slag into flour and cany it to market, have built a ring, and, 
to the injury of the farming interests who make bitter complaints on 
that score, they keep the prices high. Thus every progress is crippled 
by greed in bourgeois society. Another and at present inexhaustable 
source of fertilizers is offered by the deposits of potash in the 
province of Saxony and contiguous regions. The Prussian state owns a 
number of potash works and it also made the attempt to monopolize the 
industry, to the end of raising the largest possible revenues for the 
Treasury. 

If the opinion of Julius Hensel on the subject of fertilizers proves 
correct, it will mean a revolution in the theory of fertilization, and a 

295 



complete saving of the expenses now made for the importation of 
fertilizers, amounting for guano and Chile saltpeter to from 80 to 100 
million marks a year. 202 Hensel makes the emphatic claim, and produces 
numerous proofs of the correctness of his views, that the mineral of our 
mountains contain an inexhaustible supply of the best fertilizing 
stuffs. Granite, porphyry, basalt, broken and ground up, spread upon the 
fields or vineyards and furnished with a sufficiency of water, furnished 
a fertilizer that excelled all others, even animal and human 
refuse. 203 These minerals, he claims, contain all the elements for the 
cultivation of plants: potash, chalk, magnesia, phosphoric, sulphuric 
and silicic acids, and also hydrochlorides. According to Hensel, the 
Sudeten, Riesen, Erz, Tichtel, Hartz, Rhone, Vogel, Taunus, Eisel and 
Weser mountains, the woods of Thueringen, Spessart and Oden had an 
inexhaustible supply of fertilizers. It will be literally possible to 
"make bread out of stones." The dust and dirt of our highways also are, 
according to Hensel, inexhaustible sources of the same blessing. In this 
matter we are laymen and can not test the correctness of Hensel' s 
theories; a part of them, however, sound most plausible. Hensel charges 
the manufacturers of and dealers in artificial fertilizers with 
hostility to his discovery and with systematic opposition, because they 
would suffer great loss. 

According to Heider, a healthy adult secretes on an average 48.8 
kilograms of solid and 438 of liquid matter a year. Estimated by the 
present standard of the prices of manure, and if utilized without loss 
by evaporation, etc., this offal represents a money value of 1 1 .8 
marks. Calculating the population of Germany to be 50,000,000 in round 
figures, and estimating the average value of the human offal at 8 marks, 
the sum of 400,000,000 marks is obtained, which now is almost totally 
lost to agriculture, owing to the present imperfect methods for 
utilizing it. The great difficulty in the way of a full utilization of 
these stuffs lies in the establishment of proper and extensive 
provisions for their collection, and in the cost of transportation. 
Relatively, this cost is now higher than the importation of guano from 
far-away transmarine deposits, which, however, decline in mass in the 
measure that the demand increases. Every living being, however, casts 
off regularly an annual supply of manure about enough for a field that 
yields food for one person. The enormous loss is obvious. A large 
portion of the city excrement rims out into our rivers and streams, and 
pollutes them. Likewise is the refuse from kitchens and factories, also 
serviceable as manure, recklessly squandered. 

Future society will find means and ways to stop this waste. What is done 
to-day in this direction is mere patchwork, and utterly inadequate. As 
an illustration of what could be done to-day, may be cited the 
canalization and the laying out of vast fields in the capital of the 
Empire, on whose value, however, experts are of divided opinion. 

296 



Socialist society will solve the question more easily, due, in a great 
measure, to the fact that laige cities will gradually cease to exist, 
and population will decentralize. 

No one will regard our modern rise of [large cities] as a healthy 
phenomenon. The modern system of manufacture and production in general, 
steadily draws large masses of the population to [such] cities. 204 
There is the seat of manufacture and commerce; there the avenues of 
communication converge; there the owners of large wealth have their 
headquarters, the central authorities, the military staffs, the higher 
tribunals. There large institutions rear their heads— the academies of 
art, large pleasure resorts, exhibitions, museums, theaters, concert 
halls, etc. Hundreds are drawn thither by their professions, thousands 
by pleasure, and many more thousands by the hope of easier work and an 
agreeable life. 

But, speaking figuratively, the rise of [large] cities makes the 

impression of a person whose girth gains steadily in size, while his 

legs as steadily become thinner, and finally will be unable to carry the 

burden. All around, in the immediate vicinity of the cities, the 

villages also assume a city aspect, in which the proletariat is heaped 

up in large masses. The municipalities, generally out of funds, are 

forced to lay on taxes to the utmost, and still remain unable to meet 

the demand made upon them. When finally they have grown up to the large 

city and it up to them, they rush into and are absorbed by it, as 

happens with planets that have swung too close to the sun. But the fact 

does not improve the conditions of life. On the contrary, they grow 

worse through the crowding of people in already overcrowded spaces. 

These gatherings of masses— inevitable under modern development, and, to 

a certain extent, the raisers of revolutionary centers,— will have 

fulfilled their mission in Socialist society. Their gradual dissolution 

then becomes necessary: the current will then run the other way: 

population will migrate from the cities to the country: it will there 

raise new municipalities corresponding with the altered conditions, and 

they will join their industrial with their agricultural activities. 

So soon as— [because of] the complete remodeling and equipment of the means of 

communication and transportation, and of the productive establishments, 

etc., etc.— the city populations will be enabled to transfer to the 

country all their acquired habits of culture, to find there their 

museums, theaters, concert halls, reading rooms, libraries, etc.— just 

so soon will the migration thither set in. Life will then enjoy all the 

comforts of large cities, without their disadvantages. The population 

will be housed more comfortably and sanitarily. The rural population 

will join in manufacturing, the manufacturing population in agricultural 

pursuits,— a change of occupation enjoyed to-day by but few, and then 

often under conditions of excessive exertion. 

297 



As on all other fields, bourgeois society is promoting this development 
also: every year new industrial undertakings are transferred to the 
country. The unfavorable conditions of large cities— high rents and high 
wages— drive many employers to this migration. At the same time, the 
large landlords are steadily becoming industrialists— manufacturers of 
sugar, distillers of liquor, beer brewers, manufacturers of cement, 
earthen wares, tiles, woodwork, paper goods, etc. In the new social 
order offal of all sorts will then be easily furnished to agriculture, 
especially through the concentration of production and the public 
kitchens. Each community will, in a way, constitute a zone of culture; 
it will, to a large extent, itself raise its necessaries of life. 
Horticulture, perhaps the most agreeable of all practical occupations, 
will then reach fullest bloom. The cultivation of vegetables, fruit 
trees and bushes of all [kinds] , ornamental flowers and shrubs— all offer 
an inexhaustible field for human activity, a field, moreover, whose 
nature excludes machinery almost wholly. 

Thanks to die decentralization of the population, the existing contrast 
and antagonism between the countiy and the city will also vanish. 

The peasant, this Helot of modern times, hitherto cut off from all 
cultural development through his isolation in the country, now becomes a 
free being because he has fully become a limb of civilization. 205 The 
wish, once expressed by Prince Bismarck, that he might see the large 
cities destroyed, will be verified, but in a sense wholly different from 
that which he had in mind. 206 

If the preceding arguments are rapidly passed in review, it will be seen 
that, with the abolition of private property in the means of production 
and their conversion into social property, the mass evils, that modern 
society reveals at every turn and which grow ever greater and more 
intolerable under its sway, will gradually disappear. The over-lordship 
of one class and its representatives ceases. Society applies its forces 
planfully and controls itself. As, with the abolition of the wage system 
the ground will be taken from under the exploitation of man by man, 
likewise will it be taken from under swindle and cheating— the 
adulteration of food, the stock exchange, etc.,— with the abolition of 
private capitalism. The halls in the Temples of Mammon will stand 
vacant; national bonds of indebtedness, stocks, pawn-tickets, mortgages, 
deeds, etc., will have become so much waste paper. The words of 
Schiller: "Let our book of indebtedness be annihilated, and the whole 
world reconciled" will have become reality, and the Biblical maxim: "In 
the sweat of thy brow shalt thou eat bread" will now come into force for 
the heroes of the stock exchange and the drones of capitalism as well. 
Yet the labor that, as equal members of society they will have to 
perform, will not oppress them: their bodily health will be materially 

298 



improved. The worry of property— said to be, judging from the pathetic 
assurances of our employers and capitalists in general, harder to bear 
than the uncertain and needy lot of the workingman— will be forever 
removed from those gentlemen. The excitements of speculation, that breed 
so many diseases of the heart and bring on so many strokes of apoplexy 
among our exchange jobbers, and that render them nervous wrecks, will 
all be saved to them. A life free from mental worry will be their lot 
and that of our descendants; and in the end they will gladly accommodate 
themselves thereto. 

With the abolition of private property and of class antagonism, the 
state also gradually vanishes away;— it vanishes without being missed. 

"By converting the large majority of the population more and more into 
proletarians, the capitalist mode of production creates the power, that, 
under penalty of its own destruction, is forced to accomplish this 
revolution. By urging more and more the conversion of the large, already 
socialized means of production into state property, it points the path 
for the accomplishment of this revolution.... The state was the official 
representative of the whole society; it was the constitution of the 
latter into a visible body; but it was so only in so far as it was the 
state of that class which itself, at its time, represented the whole 
society; in antiquity, the state of slave-holding citizens; in the 
middle ages, the state of the feudal nobility; in our own days, the 
state of the capitalist class. By at last becoming actually the 
representative of the whole social body, it renders itself superfluous. 
As soon as there is no longer any social class to be kept down; as soon 
as, together with class rule and the individual struggle for life, 
founded in the previous anarchy of production, the conflicts and 
excesses that issued therefrom have been removed, there is nothing more 
to be repressed, and the state or Government, as a special power of 
repression, is no longer necessary. The first act, wherein the state 
appears as the real representative of the whole body social— the seizure 
of the means of production in the name of society— is also its last 
independent act as state. The interference of the state in social 
relations becomes superfluous in one domain after another, and falls of 
itself into desuetude. The place of a government over persons is taken 
by the administration of things and the conduct of the processes of 
production. The state is not 'abolished'— if dies outf' 20 ' 

Along with the state, die out its representatives— cabinet ministers, 
parliaments, standing armies, police and constables, courts, district 
attorneys, prison officials, tariff and tax collectors, in short, the 
whole political apparatus. Barracks, and such other military structures, 
palaces of law and of administration, prisons— all will now await better 
use. Ten thousand laws, decrees and regulations become so much rubbish; 
they have only historic value. The great and yet so petty parliamentary 

299 



struggles, with which the men of tongue imagine they rule and guide the 
world, are no more, they will have made room for administrative colleges 
and delegations whose attention will be engaged in the best means of 
production and distribution, in ascertaining the volume of supplies 
needed, in introducing and applying effective improvements in art, in 
architecture, in intercourse, in the process of production, etc. These 
are all practical matters, visible and tangible, towards which everyone 
stands objectively, there being no personal interests hostile to society 
to affect their judgment. None has any interest other than the 
collectivity, and that interest consists in instituting and providing 
everything in the best, most effective and most profitable manner. 

The hundreds of thousands of former representatives of the state pass 
over into the various trades, and help with their intelligence and 
strength to increase the w r ealth and comforts of society. Henceforth 
there are known neither political crimes nor common ones. There are no 
more thieves, seeing that private property has ceased to be in the means 
of production, and everyone can now satisfy his w r ants with ease and 
comfort by w r ork. Tramps and vagabonds likewise cease to be; they are the 
product of a social system based on private property; the former cease 
to be with the latter. And murder? Why? None can grow r rich at the 
expense of another. Even murder out of hatred and revenge flow r s directly 
or indirectly from the modern social system. Perjury, false testimony, 
cheating, thefts of inheritance, fraudulent failures? There is no 
private property on and against which to commit these crimes. Arson? Who 
is to derive pleasure or satisfaction therefrom, seeing that society 
removes from him all sources of hatred? Counterfeiting? Why, money has 
become a chimera, love's labor w r ould be lost. Contempt for religion? 
Nonsense. It is left to the "omnipotent and good God" to punish him who 
should offend Him— provided there be still controversies on the 
existence of God. 

Thus all the cornerstones of the present "order" become myths. Parents 
will tell their children stories on those heads, like legends from olden 
days. The narrations of the persecutions, that men with new r ideas are 
to-day overwhelmed with, will sound to them just as the stories of the 
burning of heretics and witches sound to us to-day. The names of all the 
great men, who to-day distinguish themselves by their persecutions of 
the new r ideas, and who are applauded by their narrow r -minded 
contemporaries, are forgotten and blown over, and they are rim across 
only by the historian who may happen to dive into the past. What remarks 
may escape him, w r e care not to tell, seeing that, unhappily, w r e do not 
yet live in an age where man is free to breathe. 

As with the state, so with "Religion." 208 It is not "abolished." God 
will not be "dethroned"; religion will not be "torn out of the hearts of 
people"; nor will any of the silly charges against the Socialists 

300 



materialize. Such mistaken policies the Socialists leave to the 
bourgeois ideologists, who resorted to such means in the French 
Revolution and, of course, suffered miserable shipwreck. Without any 
violence whatever, and without any manner of oppression of thought, 
religion will gradually vanish. 

Religion is the transcendental reflection of the social conditions of 
given epochs. In the measure that human development advances and society 
is transformed, religion is transformed along with it. It is, as Marx 
puts it, a popular striving after the illusory happiness that 
corresponds with a social condition which needs such an illusion. 209 
The illusion wanes so soon as real happiness is descried, and the 
possibility of its realization penetrates the masses. The ruling classes 
endeavor, in their own interest, to prevent this popular conception. 
Hence they seek to turn religion into a means to preserve their 
domination. The purpose appears fully in their' maxim: "The people must 
be held to religion." This particular business becomes an official 
function in a society that rests upon class rule. A caste is formed that 
assumes this function and that turns the whole acumen of their minds 
towards preserving, and enlarging such a social structure, seeing that 
thereby their" own power and importance are increased. 

Starting in fetishism at low stages of civilization and primitive social 
conditions, religion becomes polytheism at a higher, and monotheism at a 
still higher stage. It is not the gods that create men, it is man who 
turns the gods into God. "In the image of himself (man) he created Him" 
(God), not the opposite way. Monotheism has also suffered changes. It 
has dissolved into a pantheism that embraces and permeates the 
universe— and it volatilizes day by day. Natural science reduced to myth 
the dogma of the creation of the earth in six days; astronomy, 
mathematics, physics have converted heaven into a structure of air, and 
the stars, once fastened to the roof of heaven in which angels had their 
abodes, into fixed stars and planets whose very composition excludes all 
angelic life. 

The ruling class, finding itself threatened in its existence, clings to 
religion as a prop of all authority, just as every ruling class has done 
heretofore. 210 The bourgeoisie or capitalist class itself believes in 
nothing. Itself, at every stage of its development and through the 
modern science that sprang from none but its own lap, has destroyed all 
faith in religion and authority. Its faith is only a pretence; and the 
Church accepts the help of this false friend because [it] itself is in need 
of help. "Religion is necessary for the people." 

No such considerations animate Socialistic society. Human progress and 
unadulterated science are its device. If any there be who has religious 
needs, he is free to please himself in the company of those who feel 

301 



like him. It is a matter that does not concern society. Seeing that the 
clergyman's own mind will be improved by work, the day will dawn to him 
also when he will realize that the liighest aim is to be man. 

Ethics and morality exist without organized religion. The contrary is 
asserted only by weak-minded people or hypocrites. Ethics and morality 
are the expression of conceptions that regulate the relations of man to 
man, and their mutual conduct. Religion embraces the relations of man 
with supernal beings. And, just as with religion, moral conceptions also 
are born of existing social conditions at given times. Cannibals regard 
the eating of human beings as highly moral; Greeks and Romans regarded 
slavery as moral; the feudal lord of the Middle Ages regarded serfdom as 
moral; and to-day the modern capitalist considers highly moral the 
institution of wage-slavery, the flaying of women with night work and 
the demoralization of children by factory labor. 211 Here we have four 
different social stages, and as many different conceptions of morality, 
and yet in none does the highest moral sense prevail. Undoubtedly the 
highest moral stage is that in which men stand to one another free and 
equal; that in which the principle: "What you do not wish to be done 
unto you, do not unto others" is observed inviolate throughout the 
relations of man to man. In the Middle Ages, the genealogical tree was 
the standard; to-day it is property; in future society, the standard of 
man is man. And the future is Socialism in practice. 



The late Reichstag delegate, Dr. Lasker, delivered [an address in the seventies 
in Berlin], in which he arrived at the conclusion that an equal 
level of education for all members of society was possible. Dr. Lasker 
was an anti-Socialist, a rigid upholder of private property and of the 
capitalist system of production. The question of education is to-day, 
however, a question of money. Under such conditions, an equal level of 
education for all is an impossibility. Exceptional persons, situated in 
relatively favorable conditions, may, by dint of overcoming all 
difficulties and by the exertion of great energy, not given to 
everybody, succeed in acquiring a higher education. The masses never, so 
long as they live in a state of social oppression. 212 

In the new social order, the conditions of existence are equal for all. 

Wants and inclinations differ, and, differences being grounded in the 

very nature of man, will continue so to be. Each member, however, can 

live and develop under the same favorable conditions that obtain for 

all. The uniformity, generally imputed to Socialism, is, as so many 

other things, false and nonsensical. Even if Socialism did so wish it, 

the wish [would be] absurd; it would come in conflict with the nature of man; 

Socialism would have to give up the idea of seeing society develop 

according to its principles. 213 Aye, even if Socialism were to succeed 

in overpowering society and to force upon it unnatural conditions, it 

302 



would not be long before such conditions, felt to be shackles, would be 
snapped, and Socialism would be done for. Society develops out of 
itself, according to laws latent in it, and it acts accordingly. 2 " 

One of the principal tasks of the new social system will be the 
education of the rising generation in keeping with its improved 
opportunities. Every child that is born, be it male or female, is a 
welcome addition to society. Society sees therein the prospect of its 
own perpetuity, of its own further development. It, therefore, also 
realizes the duty of providing for the new being according to its best 
powers. The first object of its attention must, consequently, be the one 
that gives birth to the new being— the mother. A comfortable home; 
agreeable surroundings and provisions of all sorts, requisite to this 
stage of maternity; a careful nursing— such are the first requirements. 
The mother's breast must be preserved for the child as long as possible 
and necessary. This is obvious. Moleschott, Sonderegger, all hygienists 
and physicians are agreed that nothing can fully substitute [for] the mother's 
nourishment. 

People who, like Eugen Richter, [wax indignant] at the idea of a young mother 

being placed in a lying-in establishment, where she is surrounded by all 

that to-day is possible only to the very wealthiest, and which even 

these cannot furnish in the fullness attainable at institutions 

especially equipped for the purpose— such people we wish to remind of 

the fact that, to-day, at least four-fifths of the population are born 

under the most primitive circumstances and conditions, that are a 

disgrace to our civilization. Of the remaining one-fifth of our mothers, 

only a minority is able to enjoy the nursing and comforts that should be 

bestowed upon a woman in that state. The fact is that in cities with 

excellent provisions for cliild-birth— Berlin for instance, and all 

University cities— even to-day not a few women resort to such 

institutions as soon as they feel their time approacliing; and await 

their delivery. Unfortunately, however, the expenses at such 

institutions are so high, that but few women can use them, wliile others 

aie held back by prejudice. Here again we have an instance of how 

everywhere bourgeois society carries in its own lap the germ of the 

future order. 

For the rest, maternity among the rich has a unique taste; the maternal 
duties are transferred as soon as possible to a proletarian muse. As 
is well known, the Wendt Lausitz (Spreewald) is the region that the 
women of the Berlin bourgeoisie, who are unwilling or unable to nurse 
their own babies, draw their wet-nurses from. The "cultivation of 
nurses" is there carried on as a peculiar trade. It consists in the 
girls of the district causing themselves to be impregnated, with the end 
in view of being able, after the birth of their own children, to hire 
themselves out as nurses to rich Berlin families. Girls who give birth 

303 



to three or four illegitimate children, so as to be able to go out as 
nurses, are no rarity; and they are sought after by the males of the 
Spreewald according to their earnings in this business. Such a system is 
utterly repellant from the view-point of bourgeois morality; from the 
view-point of the family interests of the bourgeoisie it is considered 
praiseworthy and desirable. 

So soon as [the child has grown up] in the society of the future it falls 
in with the other children of its own age for play, and under common 
surveillance. All that can be furnished for its mental and physical 
culture is at hand, according to the measure of general intelligence. 
Whosoever has watched children knows that they are brought up best in 
the company of their equals, their sense of gregariousness and instinct 
of imitation being generally strong. The smaller are strongly inclined 
to take the older ones as example, and rather follow them than their own 
parents. These qualities can be turned to advantage in education. 215 
The playgrounds and kindergartens are followed by a playful introduction 
into the preliminaries of knowledge and of the various manual 
occupations. This is followed up by agreeable mental and physical work, 
connected with gymnastic exercises and free play in the skating rink and 
swimming establishments; drills, wrestling, and exercises for both sexes 
follow and supplement one another. The aim is to raise a healthy, hardy, 
physically and mentally developed race. Step by step follows the 
induction of the youth in the various practical pursuits— manufacturing, 
horticulture, agriculture, the technique of the process of production, 
etc.; nor is the development of the mind neglected in the several 
branches of science. 

The same process of "dusting" and improvement observed in the system of 
production, is pursued in that of education; obsolete, superfluous and 
harmful methods and subjects are chopped. The knowledge of natural 
things, introduced in a natural way, will spur the desire for knowledge 
infinitely more than a system of education in which one subject is at 
odds with another, and each cancels the other, as, for instance, when 
"religion" is taught on one hand, and on the other natural sciences and 
natural history. The equipment of the school rooms and educational 
establishments is in keeping with the high degree of culture of the new 
social order. All the means of education and of study, clothing and 
support are furnished by society; no pupil is at a disadvantage with 
another. 216 That is another chapter at which our "men of law and 
order" bristle up indignantly. 21 ' "The school-house is to be turned 
into barracks; parents are to be deprived of all influence upon their 
children!" is the ciy of our adversaries. All false! Seeing that in the 
future society parents will have infinitely more time at their disposal 
than is the case to-day with the large majority— we need but to call 
attention to the ten to fifteen hour day of many workingmen in the post 
office, the railroads, the prisons, the police department, and to the 

304 



demands made upon die time of the industrial workers, the small farmers, 
merchants, soldiers, many physicians, etc.— it follows that they will be 
able to devote themselves to their children in a measure that is 
impossible to-day. Moreover, the parents themselves have the regulation 
of education in their hands; it is they who determine die measures that 
shall be adopted and introduced. We aie then living in a thoroughgoing 
democratic society. The Boaids of Education, wliich will exist, of 
couise, are made up of the parents themselves— men and women— and of 
those following the educational profession. Does any one imagine they 
will act against their own interests? That happens only to-day when the 
state seeks but to enforce its own exclusive interests. 

Our opponents furthermore demean themselves as though to-day one of the 
greatest pleasures of parents [were] to have their children about them all 
day long, and to educate them. It is just the reverse in reality. What 
hardships and cares are to-day caused by the education of a child, even 
when a family has but one of them, those parents are best able to judge 
who are themselves so situated. Several children, in a manner, 
facilitate education, but then again they give rise to so much more 
trouble that their father and especially the mother, who is the one to 
bear the heaviest burden, is happy when the school hour arrives, and 
thus the house is rid of the children for a portion of the day. Most 
parents can afford but a very imperfect education [for] their children. 
The large majority of fathers and mothers lack time; the former have 
their business, the latter their household to attend to, and their time 
is furthermore taken up with social duties. Even when they actually have 
time, in innumerable instances they lack the ability. How many parents 
are able to follow the course of their children's education at school, 
and to take them under the arm in their schoolwork at home? Only few. 
The mother, who in most such cases has greater leisure at her disposal, 
lacks capacity; she has not herself received sufficient training. 
Moreover, the method and the courses of education change so frequently 
that these are strange to the parents. 

Again, the home facilities are generally so poor that the children enjoy 
neither the necessary comfort, nor order, nor quiet to do their 
schoolwork at home, or to find there the needed aid. Everything 
necessary is generally wanting. The home is narrow and overcrowded; 
small and grown-up brothers and sisters move about over that narrow 
space; the furniture is not what it should be, and furnishes no 
facilities to the child for study. Not infrequently light, also air and 
heat are wanting; the materials for study and work, if there be any of 
them, are poor; frequently even hunger gnaws at the stomach of the child 
and robs it of mind and pleasure for its work. As a supplement to this 
picture, the fact must be added that hundreds of thousands of children 
are put to all manner of work, domestic and industrial, that embitters 
their youth and disables them from fulfilling their educational task. 

305 



Again, often do children have to overcome the resistance of 
narrow-minded parents when they tiy to take time for their schoolwork or 
for play. In short, the obstacles are so numerous that, if they are all 
taken into account, the wonder is the youth of the land is as well 
educated. It is an evidence of the health of human nature, and of its 
inherent ambition after progress and perfection. 

Bourgeois society itself recognizes some of these evils by the 
introduction of public education and by facilitating the same still more 
through the free supply, here and there, of school material— two things 
that, as late as about the year 1 885 the then Minister of Education of 
Saxony designated as a "Social Democratic demand," and as such flung the 
designation in the face of the Socialist Representative in the Landtag. 
In France, where, after long neglect, popular education advanced so much 
more rapidly, progress has gone still further. At least in Paris, the 
school children are fed at public expense. The poor obtain food free, 
and the children of parents who are better circumstanced contribute 
thereto a slight tax toward the common treasury— a communistic 
arrangement that has proved satisfactory to parents and children alike. 

An evidence of the inadequacy of the present school system— it is 
unable to fulfil even the moderate demands made upon it— is the fact 
that thousands upon thousands of children are unable to fulfil their 
school duties by reason of insufficient food. In the winter of 1893-94, 
it was ascertained in Berlin that in one school district alone 3,600 
cliildren went to school without breakfast. In such shocking conditions 
there are hundreds of thousands of children in Germany to-day at certain 
seasons of the year. With millions of others the nourishment is utterly 
insufficient. For all these children public alimentation and clothing 
also would be a godsend. A commonwealth that pursued such a policy and 
thus, by the systematic nourishing and clothing of the children, would 
bring humanity home to them, is not likely to see the sight of 
"penitentiaries." Bourgeois society cannot deny the existence of such 
misery, which [it] itself has called forth. Hence we see compassionate souls 
foregathering in the establishment of breakfast and soup houses, to the 
end of partially filling by means of charity what it were the duty of 
society to fill in full. Our conditions are wretched— but still more 
wi etched is the mental make-up of those who shut their eyes to such 
facts. 

The system of reducing so-called home school work, and of having the 
same done at school under the supervision of a teacher is progressing; 
the inadequacy of home facilities is realized. Not only is the richer 
pupil at an advantage over the poorer by reason of his position, but 
also by reason of his having private teachers and such other assistance 
at his command. On the other hand, however, laziness and shiftlessness 
are promoted with the rich pupil by reason of the effects of wealth, 

306 



luxury and superfluity; these make knowledge appear superfluous to him, 
and often they place before him such immoral sights that he easily 
slides into temptation. He who every day and every hour hears the 
praises sung of rank, position, money, property, and that they are 
[essential], acquires abnormal conceptions regarding man and his 
duties, and regarding state and social institutions. 

Closely looked into, bourgeois society has no reason to feel indignant 
at the communistic education, which Socialists aim at. Bourgeois society 
has itself partly introduced such a system for the privileged classes, 
but only as a caricature of the original. Look at the cadet and alumni 
establishments, at the seminaries, at the schools for clergymen, and at 
the homes for military orphans. In them many thousands of children, 
partly from the so-called upper classes, are educated in a one-sided and 
wrongful manner, and in strict cloister seclusion; they are trained for 
certain specific occupations. And again, many members of the better 
situated classes, who live in the country or in small places as 
physicians, clergymen, government employees, factory owners, landlords, 
large farmers, etc., send their children to boarding schools in the 
large cities and barely get a glimpse of them, except possibly during 
vacations. 

There is, accordingly, an obvious contradiction between the indignation 
expressed by our adversaries at a communistic system of education and at 
"the estrangement of children from their parents," on the one hand, and 
their own conduct, on the other, in introducing the identical system 
for their own children— only in a bungling, absolutely false and 
inadequate style. 

[The number of teachers must increase] in equal tempo with the increased 
opportunities for education. In the matter of the education of the 
rising generations the new social order must proceed in a way similar to 
that which prevails in the army, in the drilling of soldiers. There is 
one "under-officer" to each eight or ten men. With one teacher to every 
eight or ten pupils, the future may expect the results that should be 
aimed at. 

The introduction of mechanical activities in the best equipped 
workshops, in garden and held work, will constitute a good part of the 
education of the youth. It will all be done with the proper change and 
without excessive exertion, to the end of reaching the most perfectly 
developed beings. 

Education must also be equal and in common for both sexes. Their 
separation is justifiable only in the cases where the difference in sex 
makes such separation absolutely necessary. In this manner of education 
the United States is far ahead of us. There education of the two sexes 



307 



is in common from the primary schools up to the universities. Not only 
is education free, but also school materials, inclusive of the 
instruments needed in manual training and in cooking, as also in 
chemistry, physics, and the articles needed for experimenting and at 
bench-work. To many schools are attached gymnastic halls, bath houses, 
swimming basins and playgrounds. In the higher schools, the female sex 
is trained in gymnastics, swimming, rowing and marching. 218 

The Socialist system of education, properly regulated and ordered and 
placed under the direction of a sufficient force, continues up to the 
age when society shall determine that its youth shall enter upon their 
majority. Both sexes are fully qualified to exercise all the rights and 
fill all the duties that society demands from its adult members. Society 
now enjoys the certainty of having brought up only thorough, fully 
developed members, human beings to whom nothing natural is strange, as 
familiar with their nature as with the nature and conditions of society 
which they join [with fullrights]. 

The daily increasing excesses of our modern youth— all of them the 
inevitable consequences of the present tainted and decomposing state of 
society— will have vanished. Impropriety of conduct, disobedience, 
immorality and rude pleasure-seeking, such as is especially noticeable 
among the youth of our higher educational institutions— the gymnasia, 
polytechnics, universities, etc.— vices that are incited and promoted by 
the existing demoralization and unrest of domestic life, by the 
poisonous influence of social life such as the immoral literature that 
w r ealth procures— all these will likewise have vanished. In equal measure, 
the evil effects of the modern factory system and of improper housing, 
that dissoluteness and self-assurance of youths at an age when the human 
being is most in need of [discipline] and education in self-control [will 
disappear] . All these evils future society will escape without the 
need of coercive measures. The nature of the social institutions and of 
the mental atmosphere, that will spring from them and that will rule 
society itself, rendering impossible the breaking out of such evils; as 
in nature disease and the destruction of organisms can appear only when 
there is a state of decay that invites disease; so likewise in society. 

No one will deny that our present system of instruction and of education 
suffers of serious defects— the higher schools and educational 
establishments even more so than the low r er. The village school is a 
paragon of moral health compared with the college; common schools for 
the manual training of poor girls are paragons of morality compared with 
many leading boarding schools for girls. The reason is not far to seek. 
In the upper classes of society, every aspiration after higher human 
aims is smothered; those classes no longer have any ideal. As a 
consequence of the absence of ideals and of noble endeavor, an unbounded 
passion for physical indulgence and hankering after excesses spread 

308 



their physical and moral gangrene in all directions. How else can the 
youth be that is brought up in such an atmosphere? Purely material 
indulgence, without stint and without bounds, is the only aim that it 
sees or knows of. Why exert themselves, if the wealth of their parents 
makes all effort seem superfluous? The maximum of education with a large 
majority of the sons of our bourgeoisie consists in passing the 
examinations for the one year's service in the army. [Let] this goal [be] 
reached, [and] they imagine [they] have climbed Pelion and Ossa, and regard 
themselves at least as demi-gods. [Give them] a reserve officer's 
certificate in their pocket [and] their pride and arrogance [know] no 
[limits]. The influence exercised by this generation— a generation it has 
become by its numbers— weak in the character and knowledge of its 
members, but strong in their designs and the spirit of graft, 
characterizes the present period as the "Age of Reserve Officers." Its 
peculiarities are: Characterlessness and ignorance, but a strong will; 
senility upward, arrogance and brutality downward. 

The daughters of our bourgeoisie are trained as show-dolls, fools of 
fashion and drawingroom-ladies, on the chase after one enjoyment after 
another, until, finally, surfeited with eiuiui, they fall a prey to all 
imaginable real and supposed diseases. Grown old, they become devotees 
and beads-w r omen, who turn up their eyes at the corruption of the w r orld 
and preach asceticism. As regards the low r er classes, the effort is 
[afoot] to low r er still more the level of their education. The proletariat 
might become too knowing, it might get tired of its vassalage, and might 
rebel against its earthly gods. The more stupid the mass, the easier 
is it to control and rule. 

And thus modern society stands before the question of instruction and 
education as bewildered as [it is when] it stands before all other social questions. 
What does it [do] ? It calls for the rod; preaches "religion," that is, 
submission and contentment to those who are now but too submissive; 
teaches abstinence where, [because of] poverty, abstinence has become 
compulsory in the utmost necessaries of life. Those who in the rudeness 
of their nature rear up brutally are taken to "reformatories," that 
usually are controlled by pietistic influences;— and the pedagogic 
wisdom of modern society has about reached the end of its tether. 

From the moment that the rising generation in future society shall have 

reached its majority, all further growth is left to the individual: 

society will feel sure that each will seize the opportunity to unfold 

the germs that have been so far developed in him. Each does according [to how r ] 

inclination and faculties serve him. Some choose one branch of the ever 

more brilliant natural sciences: anthropology, zoology, botany, 

mineralogy, geology, physics, chemistry, prehistoric sciences, etc.; 

others take to the science of history, [philological] researches, ait; 

others yet become musicians from special gifts, or painters, or 

309 



sculptors, or actors. The future will have "guild artists" as little as 
"guild scientists" or "guild artisans." Thousands of brilliant talents, 
hitherto kept down, unfold and assert themselves and display their 
knowledge and ability wherever opportunity offers. No longer are there 
any musicians, actors, artists and scientists by profession; they will 
exist only by inspiration, talent and genius; and the achievements of 
these bid fail" to excel modern achievements on these fields as vastly as 
the industrial, technical and agricultural achievements of future 
society are certain to excel those of to-day. An era of art and sciences 
will spring up such as the w r orld never saw r before; nor will its 
creations fail to correspond to such a renaissance. 

What transformation and new-birth science will experience wiien 
conditions shall have become worthy of the human race, no less a man 
than the late Richard Wagner foresaw^ and expressed as early as 1850 in 
his w r ork "Ait and Revolution." This w r ork is all the more significant 
[in having] made its appearance immediately after a revolution that 
had just been beaten down, that Wagner took part in, and by reason of 
wiiich he had to flee from Dresden. In this book Wagner foretells what 
the future will bring on. He turns directly to the working class as the 
one called upon to emancipate true ait. Among other things he says: 

"When, with the free human race of the future, the earning of a living 
shall no longer be the object of life; when, on the contrary, thanks to 
the rise of a new r faith, or of higher knowdedge, the gaining of a 
livelihood by means of compatible w r ork shall be raised above all 
uncertainty;— in short, when industry shall no longer be our master but 
our servant, then will w r e place the object of life in the pleasure of 
life, and seek to make our children fit and w r orthy through education. An 
education that starts from the exercise of strength, from the care of 
the beauty of the body will, [because of] the undisturbed love for the child 
and [of] the joy experienced at the thriving of its charms, become purely 
artistic; and thus in some sense or another every being will be an 
artist in truth. The diversity of natural inclinations will develop the 
most manifold aptitudes into an unprecedented w r ealth of beauty!"— at all 
points a Socialist line of thought, and fully in keeping with the 
arguments herein made. 



Social life in future will be ever more public. What the trend is may be 
gathered from the wiiolly changed position of woman, compared with former 
times. Domestic life will be confined to what is absolutely necessary, 
wiiile the widest field will be opened to the gratification of the social 
instincts. Large gathering places for the holding of addresses and 
discussions, and for conferring upon all social questions, over wiiich 
the collectivity has the sovereign w r ord; play, meal and reading rooms; 
libraries, concert halls and theaters; museums and gymnastic 

310 



institutions; parks, promenades, public baths, educational institutions 
of all sorts; laboratories, etc.;— all of these, erected in the best and 
equipped in the fittest manner possible, will afford richest opportunity 
for all manner of intercoms e, of art and of science to achieve the 
highest. Likewise will the institutions for the nursing of the sick, the 
weak, the infirm through old age, meet the highest demands. 

How little [our vaunted age] will then seem in comparison. 
This fawning for favor and sunshine from above; this cringing and 
dog-like frame of mind; this mutual struggle of enviousness, with the 
aid of the most hateful and vilest means, for the privileged place. All 
along the suppression of convictions; the veiling of good qualities, 
that might otherwise give offence; the emasculation of character; the 
affectation of opinions and feelings;— in short, all those qualities 
that may be summed up in w r ords "cowardice and characterlessness" are now 
every day more pronounced. Whatever elevates and ennobles 
man— self-esteem, independence and incorruptibility of opinion and 
convictions, freedom of utterance— modern conditions generally turn into 
defects and crimes. [How r ] often these qualities w r ork the ruin of their 
owners, unless [they suppress] them. Many do not even realize their 
degradation; they have grown accustomed thereto. The dog regards it a 
matter of course that he has a master, who, when out of temper, visits 
him with the whip. 

Such altered conditions in social life will impart a radically different 
aspect to literary productions. Theological literature, whose entries 
are at present most numerous in the yearly catalogues of literary w r orks, 
drops out in company with its juridic cousin,— there is no more interest 
in the former, and no more use for the latter. All the literary 
productions that refer to the struggle over political institutions will 
be seen no more,— their subject-matter has ceased to be. The study of 
all such matters will belong to the history of civilization. The vast 
mass of inane productions— the evidences of a spoiled taste, often 
possible only through sacrifices at the altar of the author's 
vanity— are gone. Even speaking from the view-point of present 
conditions, it may be said without exaggeration that four-fifths of all 
literary productions could disappear from the market without loss to a 
single interest of civilization. Such is the vastness of the mass of 
superficial or harmful books, palpable trash, extant to-day [in] the field 
of literature. 

Belles-lettres and the press will be equally hit. There is nothing 
sorrier, more spiritless or superficial than the large majority of our 
newspaper literature. If our stage in civilization and scientific 
attainments w r ere to be gauged by the contents of that set of papers, it 
w r ould be low r indeed. The actions of men and the condition of things are 
judged from a view r -point that corresponds with centuries gone by, and 

311 



that has been long since proved laughable and untenable by science. A 
considerable portion of our journalists are people who, as Bismarck once 
put it, "missed their calling," but whose education and standard of 
wages fit with bourgeois interests. Furthermore, these newspapers, as 
well as the majority of the belles- [lettristic] magazines, have the mission 
of circulating impure advertisements; the interests of their purses are 
on this field the same as on the former: the material interests of 
their owners determine their contents. 

On an average, belles- [lettristic] literature is not much superior to 
newspaper literature. Its forte is to cultivate sex excesses: it renders 
homage either to shallow enlightenment or to stale prejudices and 
superstitions. Its general purpose is to represent the capitalist order 
of society, all its shortcomings notwithstanding, which are conceded in 
trifles, as the best of all possible worlds. 

[In] this extensive and important field, future society will institute 
some thorough-going housecleaning. Science, truth, beauty, the contest 
of the intellect after the best will rule supreme. Everyone who achieves 
what is worthy will enjoy the opportunity to exercise his faculties. He 
no longer depends upon the favor of a publisher, moneyed considerations 
or prejudice, but only upon the impartial judgment of experts whom he 
himself joins in electing, and from whose unfavorable decision he can 
always appeal to the general vote of the whole community,— all of which 
is to-day against him or impossible. The childish notion that all 
contest of intellect would be held down in a Socialist society they 
alone can maintain who hold the bourgeois world to be the most perfect 
social system, and who, out of enmity to Socialism seek to slander and 
to belittle it. A society, that rests upon full democratic equality, 
neither knows nor tolerates oppression. Only the fullest freedom of 
thought makes uninterrupted progress possible, and this is the principle 
of life with society. Moreover, it is an act of deception to represent 
bourgeois society as the paladin of true freedom of thought. Parties 
that represent class interests will publish in the press only that which 
does not injure their class' own interests, and woe to him who would 
attempt the contrary. His social ruin would be sealed, as every one 
knows. In what manner publishers handle literary work that does not suit 
them, every writer almost could tell a tale of woe on. Finally, the 
German press and criminal laws betray the spirit that animates our 
ruling and leading classes. Actual freedom of thought is looked upon by 
them as the most dangerous of evils. 



The individual is to develop himself fully. That must be the law of 
human association. Accordingly, the individual may not remain fettered 
to the soil on which the accident of birth first placed him. Men and the 
world should be known, not from books and papers only: personal 

312 



observation, practical experience are also needed. Accordingly, future 
society must enable everyone to do what is now done by many, although in 
most instances it happens to-day under the whip that want cracks. The 
wish for change in all the relations of life is a craving strongly 
stamped in man. It springs from the instinct after perfection, inherent 
in all organic beings. The plant that stands in a dark room, stretches 
and strains, as though endowed with consciousness, towards the light 
that falls from some crevice. Just so with man. An instinct implanted in 
man, consequently a natural instinct, must be rationally gratified. The 
conditions of future society will not balk the instinct [for] change; on 
the contrary, they [will] promote its gratification with all: it is facilitated 
by the highly developed system of intercommunication; it is demanded by 
international relations. In future days, infinitely more people will 
travel through the world, and for the most varied of purposes, than 
happens to-day. 

In order to meet all demands, society furthermore requires an ample 
provision of all the necessaries of life. Society regulates its horns of 
work accordingly. It makes them longer or shorter, according [to how] its 
needs or the season of the year may suggest. It may turn its strength at 
one season mainly to agriculture, at another mainly to industrial and 
similar production. It directs its labor forces as occasion may require. 
Through the combination of numerous forces, equipped with the best 
technical provisions, it can carry through with swiftness, aye, 
[easily], undertakings that to-day seem impossible. 

As society assumes the care of its youth, so it does of its aged, sick 
or invalid members. It guards whoever, by whatever circumstance, has 
become unable to work. There is in this no question of charity, but of 
duty, not of an alms morsel, but of an assistance born of every 
possible consideration due him, who, during the time of his strength and 
ability to work, fulfilled his duties to the commonwealth. The setting 
sim of old age is beautiful with all that society can offer: everyone 
being buoyed up with the confidence that he will some day himself enjoy 
what now he affords to others. No longer are the aged now disturbed with 
the thought that others are awaiting their death in order to "inherit;" 
likewise has the fear vanished from the mind of man that, grown old and 
helpless, he will be cast off like a squeezed lemon. Man now feels 
himself left neither to the benevolence of his children, nor to the alms 
of the community. What the condition is in which most parents find 
themselves, who depend in old age upon the support of their children, is 
notorious. How demoralizing is the effect of the hope of inheriting 
upon the children, and, in a still greater degree, upon relatives! What 
vile qualities are awakened; and how many are the crimes that 
such hopes have led to!— murder, forgery, perjury, extortion, etc. 
Capitalist society has no reason to be proud of its laws of 
inheritance; to them are ascribable part of the crimes that are 

313 



committed every year; and yet the large majority of people have nothing 
to bequeath or to inherit. 219 

The moral and physical condition of future society; the nature of its 
work, homes, food, clothing, its social life— everything will greatly 
contribute to avoid accidents, sickness, debility. Natural death by the 
decline of the vigor of life will become the rule. The conviction that 
"heaven" is on earth, and that to be dead means to be ended, will cause 
people to lead rational lives. 220 He enjoys most who enjoys longest. 
None know r how r to appreciate a long life better than the very clergy who 
prepare people for the "after w r orld;" a life free from care makes it 
possible for these gentlemen to reach the highest age average. 221 

Life requires, first of all, food and drink. Friends of the so-called 
"natural w r ay of living" often ask why is Socialism indifferent to 
vegetarianism. The question causes us to take up the subject in a few 
lines. Vegetarianism, that is, the doctrine that prescribes an exclusive 
vegetal diet, found its hist supporters in such circles as are in the 
agreeable position of being able to choose between a vegetal and an 
animal diet. To the large majority of people there is no such choice: 
they are forced to live according to their means, the meagerness of 
which in many instances keeps them almost exclusively to a vegetal diet, 
and to the least nutritive, at that. With our working class population 
in Silesia, Saxony, Thueringen, etc., the potato is the principal 
nourishment; even bread comes in only secondarily; meat, and then only 
of poor quality, is hardly ever seen on the table. Even the largest part 
of the rural population, although they are the raisers of cattle, rarely 
partake of meat: they must sell the cattle in order to satisfy other 
pressing w r ants with the money obtained therefor. 

For the innumerable people, who are compelled to live as vegetarians, an 
occasional solid beefsteak, or good leg of mutton, w r ould be a decided 
improvement in the diet. When vegetarianism directs itself against the 
overrating of the nutrition contained in meat, it is right; it is wrong, 
however, when it combats the partaking of meat as harmful and fatal, 
mainly on sentimental grounds— such as "the nature of man forbids the 
killing of animals and to partake of a corpse." In order to live 
comfortably and undisturbed, w r e are compelled to declare w r ar upon and 
destroy a large number of living beings in the shape of all manner of 
vermin; in order not to be ourselves eaten up, w r e must undertake the 
killing and extirpating of wild animals. The quiet toleration of those 
"good friends of man," the domestic animals, w r ould increase the number 
of these "good friends" in a few r decades so immensely that they w r ould 
"devour" us by robbing us of food. Neither is the claim true that a 
vegetarian diet produces mildness of temperament. The "beast" was 
awakened even in the mild, vegetarian Hind[u] when the severity of the 
Englishmen drove him to mutiny. 

314 



In our opinion Sonderegger hits the nail on the head when he says: 
"There is no order of rank in the matter of the different kinds of food; 
but there is an unalterable law in the matter of combining their several 
nutritious qualities." It is true that no one can nourish himself on an 
exclusively meat diet, but that he can on an exclusively vegetal diet, 
provided always he can select to suit; but neither would any one be 
satisfied with one vegetable, let it be the most nutritive. Beans, for 
instance, peas, lentils, in short, the leguminosae, are the most 
nutritive of all food. Nevertheless, to be forced to feed exclusively on 
them— which is said to be possible— [would be] torture. Karl Marx mentions 
in "Capital" that the Chilian mine-owners compel their workingmen to eat 
beans year in and year out, because the food imparts to them great 
strength and enables them to cany burdens that they could not carry 
with any other diet. Despite its nutrition, the workingmen turn against 
such food, but get none other, and are thus obliged to rest content 
therewith. Under no circumstances do the happiness and well-being of 
people depend upon a certain diet, as is claimed by the fanatics among 
the vegetarians. Climate, custom, individual tastes are the determining 
factors. 

In the measure that civilization advances, a vegetal diet progressively 
takes the place of the exclusive meat diet, such as is indulged in by 
hunting and pastoral peoples. A many-sided agriculture is a sign of 
higher culture. In a given field, vegetal nutritive matter can be raised 
in larger quantities than could meat be obtained through cattle raising. 
This development imparts to vegetal nutrition an ever greater 
preponderance. The transportation of meat, that the modern [larcenous] 
economic system furnishes us with from foreign lands, especially from 
South America and Australia, has been very nearly exhausted within few 
decades. On the other hand, animals are raised, not merely for the sake 
of meat, but also for that of wool, hah", bristles, skin and hides, 
milk, eggs, etc., upon which many industries and human wants are 
dependent. Again offal of several kinds can be turned in no way to 
better advantage than through cattle raising. The seas will also in 
future be made to yield to man their wealth of animal food to a much 
larger extent than now. It will be in future a rare occurrence to see, 
as we do to-day, whole loads of fish turned to manure, because the 
facilities and costs of transportation, or the facilities of 
preservation prevent their being otherwise used. It follows that a 
purely vegetal diet is neither probable nor necessary in the future. 

In the matter of food, quality rather than quantity is to be 
considered. Quantity is of little use if not good. Quality is greatly 
improved by the manner of preparation. The preparation of food must be 
conducted as scientifically as any other function, if it is to reach the 
highest point of utility possible. Knowledge and equipment are thereto 

315 



requisite. That our women, upon whom [the preparation of food] mainly devolves 

[to-day], do not and can not possess this knowledge, needs no 

proof. They lack all the necessary equipments therefor. As every well 

equipped hotel kitchen, the steam kitchen of barracks or of hospitals 

and especially the cooking expositions teach us, the cooking 

apparatuses, together with many technical arrangements for all manner of 

food preparation, have reached a high degree of perfection and have been 

contrived upon scientific principles. [This] will in the future be the 

rule. The object aimed at must be to obtain the best results with the 

smallest expenditure of power, time and material. The small private 

kitchen is, just like the workshop of the small master mechanic, a 

transition stage, an airangement by wliich time, power and material are 

senselessly squandered and wasted. The preparation of food also will 

in future society be a social establishment, conducted on the most 

improved plane, in proper and advantageous manner. The private kitchen 

disappears, as it has now disappeared in the instance of those families 

who, although they generally provide themselves through their own 

kitchen, always resort to hotel kitchens or to those of caterers, the 

moment the question is to provide for banquets or to procure dishes a 

knowledge of which both they and their domestics lack. 222 

The Chicago Exposition of 1893 brought out a mass of interesting facts 
on the revolution that has taken place in the kitchen also, and in the 
preparation of food;— among other things a kitchen in which the heating 
and cooking was done wholly through electricity. Electricity not only 
furnished the light, but was also active in the washing of dishes, which 
thereupon required the aid of the human hand only in finishing up. In 
this kitchen of the future there was no hot air, no smoke, no vapors. 
Numberless apparatuses and subsidiary machinery performed a number of 
operations that until then had to be performed by human hands. This 
kitchen of the future resembled more a parlor than a kitchen that 
everyone who has nothing to do in, likes to stay away from. Work therein 
at the Chicago Exposition was pleasurable and free from all the 
unpleasantness that are features of the modern kitchen. Can a private 
kitchen be imagined even approximately equipped like that? And then, 
what a saving in all directions through such a central kitchen! Our 
women would seize the opportunity with both hands to exchange the 
present for the kitchen of the future. 

The nutritive value of food is heightened by its facility of 
assimilation. This is a determining factor. 223 A natural system of 
nourishment for all can be reached only by future society. Cato praises 
the Rome of before his days for having had experts in the ait of 
healing, but, down to the sixth century of the city, no occupation for 
exclusive physicians. People lived so frugally and simply, that disease 
was rare, and death from old age was the usual form of decease. Not 
until gourmandizing and idleness— in short, license with some, want and 

316 



excessive work with others— had permeated society, did matters change, 
and radically so. In future, gluttony and license will be impossible, 
and likewise want, misery and privation. There is enough, and an 
abundance, for all. More than fifty years ago Henrich Heine sang: 

Why, there grows down here abundance 

And a plentitude for all; 
Roses, myrtles, beauty and joy; 

Yes, and sugar beans withal— 

Aye, sugar beans in bursting pods 

For everyone are here, 
But they're left to heaven's angels 

And the sparrows of the air. 

"He who eats little lives well"— that is, long, said the Italian Cornaro 
in the sixteenth century, as quoted by Niemeyer. In the end chemistry 
will be active in the preparation and improvement of nourishment to a 
degree thitherto unknown. To-day the science is greatly abused in the 
interest of adulterations and fraud. It is obvious that a chemically 
prepared food that has all the qualities of the natural product will 
accomplish the same purpose. The form of the preparation is of secondary 
importance, provided the product otherwise meets all requirements. 

As in the kitchen, the revolution will be accomplished throughout 
domestic life: it will remove numberless details of work that must be 
attended to to-day. As in the future the domestic kitchen is rendered 
wholly superfluous by the central institutions for the preparation of 
food, so likewise are all the former troubles of keeping ranges, lamps, 
etc., in working order, removed by the central heating and electric 
apparatuses for lighting. Warm and cold water supplies place bathing 
within the reach of all at pleasure, and without the aid of any person. 
The central laundries assume the washing, drying, etc., of clothes; the 
central cleaning establishments see to the dusting, etc., of clothing 
and carpets. In Chicago, carpet-cleaning machines were exhibited that 
did the work in so short a time as to call forth the admiration of the 
ladies who visited the Exposition. The electric door opens at a slight 
pressure of the finger, and shuts of itself. Electric contrivances 
deliver letters and newspapers on all the floors of the houses; electric 
elevators save the climbing of stairs. The inside arrangement of the 
houses— flooring, garnishing of the walls, furniture— will be 
contrived with an eye to the facility of cleaning and to the prevention 
of the gathering of dust and bacteria. Dust, sweepings and offal of all 
sorts will be carried by pipes out of the houses as water, that has 
been used, is carried off to-day. In the United States, in many a 
European city— Zuerich, for instance— there are to-day tenements, 
exquisitely equipped, in which numerous affluent families— others could 

317 



not bear the expense— live and enjoy a large part of the conveniences 
just sketched. 

Here again we have an illustration of how capitalist society [leads] the 
way in revolutionizing human affairs, in this instance in domestic 
life,— but only for its elect. Domestic life being thus radically 
transformed, the servant, this "slave of all the whims of the mistress," 
is no more,— and the mistress neither. "No servants, no culture!" cries 
the horrified Herr v. Treitschke with comic pathos. He can as little 
imagine society without servants as Aristotle could without slaves. The 
matter of surprise is that Herr v. Treitschke looks upon our servants as 
the "carriers of civilization." Treitschke, like Eugen Richter, is 
furthermore greatly worried by the shoe-polishing and clothes-dusting 
question, which neither is able to attend to personally. It so happens, 
however, that with nine-tenths of the people everyone sees to that 
himself, or the wife does for her husband, or a daughter or son for the 
family. We might answer that what the nine-tenths have hitherto done, 
the remnant tenth may also do. But there is another way out. Why should 
not in future society the youth of the land, without distinction of sex, 
be enlisted for such necessary work? Work does not dishonor, even if it 
consists in polishing boots. Many a member of the old nobility, and 
officers of the army at that, learned the lesson when, to escape their 
debts, they ran off to the United States, and there became servants, or 
shoe-polishers. Eugen Richter, in his pamphlets, goes even so far as to 
cause the downfall of the "Socialist Imperial Chancellor" on the 
"Shoe-polishing Question," and the consequent falling to pieces of the 
"Socialist state." The "Socialist Imperial Chancellor" refuses to polish 
his own shoes; hence his troubles. The bourgeoisie has hugely enjoyed 
this description of Richter, and it has thereby furnished evidence of 
the modesty of its demands upon a criticism of Socialism. But Eugen 
Richter lived to experience the sorrow of not only seeing one of his own 
party members in Nuerenberg invent a shoe-polishing machine soon after 
the appearance of that pamphlet, but of also learning that at the 
Chicago Exposition of 1 893 an electric shoe-polishing machine was 
exhibited that did the work perfectly. Thus the principal objection, 
raised by Richter and Treitschke against Socialist society, has been 
practically thrown overboard by an invention made under the bourgeois 
social system itself. 

The revolutionary transformation, that radically changes all the 
relations of man, especially the position of woman, is, as we see, going 
on now under our own eyes. It is only a question of time [before] society 
will take the process into its own hands and upon a large scale, thus 
quickening and perfecting the change and affording to all, without 
exception, the opportunity to share its innumerable advantages. 



318 



PART III 

WOMAN IN THE FUTURE 



319 



WOMAN IN THE FUTURE. 

This chapter can be condensed in few words. It only contains the 
conclusions that flow from what has been said, conclusions that the 
reader may draw for himself. 

The woman of future society is socially and economically independent; 
she is no longer subject to even a vestige of dominion and exploitation; 
she is free, the peer of man, mistress of her lot. Her education is the 
same as that of man, with such exceptions as the difference of sex and 
sexual functions demand. Living under natural conditions, she is able to 
unfold and exercise her mental powers and faculties. She chooses her 
occupation in such field as correspond with her wishes, inclinations 
and natural abilities, and she works under conditions identical with 
man's. Even if engaged as a practical working woman in some field or 
other, at other times of the day she may be educator, teacher or nurse, 
at yet others she may exercise herself in art, or cultivate some branch 
of science, and at yet others may be filling some administrative 
function. She joins in studies, enjoyments or social intercourse with 
either her sisters or with men,— as she may please or occasion may 
serve. 

In the choice of love, she is, like man, free and unhampered. She woos 
or is wooed, and closes the bond from no considerations other than her 
own inclinations. This bond is a private contract, celebrated without 
the intervention of any functionary— just as marriage was a private 
contract mi til deep in the Middle Ages. Socialism creates in this 
nothing new: it merely restores, at a higher level of civilization and 
under new social forms, that which prevailed at a more primitive social 
stage, and before private property began to rule society. 

Under the proviso that he inflict injury upon none, the individual shall 
himself oversee the satisfaction of his own instincts. The satisfaction 
of the sexual instinct is as much a private concern as the satisfaction 
of any other natuiai instinct. None is therefor accountable to others, 
and no unsolicited judge may interfere. How I shall eat, how I shall 
drink, how I shall sleep, how I shall clothe myself, is my private 
affair,— exactly so my intercourse with a person of the opposite sex. 
Intelligence and culture, perfect individual freedom— qualities that 
become normal through the education and the conditions of future 
society— will guard everyone against the commission of acts that will 
redound to his injury. Self-training and the knowledge of their own 
being are possessions of the men and the women of future society to a 
degree much above the present. The simple circumstance that all bashful 
prudery and affectation of secrecy regarding natural matters will have 
vanished is a guarantee of a more natural intercourse of the sexes than 
that which prevails to-day. If incompatibility, disenchantment, or 

320 



repulsion set in between two persons that have come together, morality 
commands that the unnatural, and therefore immoral, bond be dissolved. 
Seeing, moreover, that all the circumstances and conditions, which until 
then condemned large numbers of women to celibacy and to prostitution, 
will have vanished, man can no longer superimpose himself. On the other 
hand, the completely changed social conditions will have removed the 
numerous inconveniences that to-day affect married life, that often 
prevent its favorable unfolding, or that even render it wholly 
impossible. 

The contradictions in and the unnatural features of the present position 
of woman are realized with ever increasing force in wide social circles. 
The sentiment finds lively utterance in the literature of the social 
question as well as in works of fiction,— often, it must be confessed, 
in wrongful manner. That the present form of marriage corresponds ever 
less with its purpose, no thinking person any longer denies. Thus is 
seen the phenomenon of the demand for freedom in the choice of love, and 
for the untrammeled dissolution of the marriage bond, when necessary, 
made by people who refuse to draw the requisite conclusions for the 
change of the present social system. They believe that the freedom of 
sexual intercourse must be asserted only in behalf of the privileged 
classes. In a polemic against Fanny Lewald's efforts in behalf of the 
emancipation of woman, Mathilde Reichhardt-Stromberg expresses herself 
this wise: 

"If you (Fanny Lewald) claim the complete equality of woman with man in 
social and political life, George Sand also must be right in her 
struggles for emancipation, which aim no further than at what man has 
long been in undisputed possession of. Indeed, there is no reasonable 
ground for admitting the head and not the heart of woman to this 
equality, to give and to take as freely as man. On the contrary, if 
woman has by nature the right, and, consequently, also the duty— for we 
should not bury the talent bestowed upon us— of exerting her brain 
tissue to the utmost in the race with the intellectual Titans of the 
opposite sex, she must then have precisely the same right to preserve 
her equilibrium by quickening the circulation of her heart's blood in 
whatever way it may seem good to her. Do we not all read without the 
slightest moral indignation how Goethe— to begin with the greatest as an 
illustration— again and again wasted the warmth of his heart and the 
enthusiasm of his great soul on a different woman? Reasonable people 
regard this as perfectly natural by the very reason of the greatness of 
his soul, and the difficulty of satisfying it. Only the narrow-minded 
moralist stops to condemn his conduct. Why, then, deride the 'great 
souls' among women!... Let us suppose that the whole female sex 
consisted of great souls like George Sand, that every woman were a 
Lucretia Floriani, whose children are all children of love and who 
brought up all these children with true motherly love and devotion, as 

321 



well as with intelligence and good sense. What would become of the 
world? There can be no doubt that it could continue to exist and to 
progress, just as it does now; it might even feel exceptionally 
comfortable under the arrangement." 221 

Accordingly, Mathilde Reichhardt-Stromberg is of the opinion that, if 
every woman were a Lucretia Floriani, that is, a great soul like George 
Sand, who draws her own picture in Lucretia Floriani, they should be 
free for the "preservation of their equilibrium to quicken the 
circulation of their heart's blood in whatever way it may seem good to 
them." But why should that be the privilege of the "great souls" only, 
and not of the others also, who are no "great souls," and can be none? 
No such difference exists to us. If a Goethe and a George Sand— to take 
these two from the many who have acted and are acting like them— live 
according to the inclinations of their hearts— and about Goethe's love 
affairs whole libraries are published that are devoured by his male and 
female admirers in wrapt ecstasy— why condemn in others that, which done 
by a Goethe or a George Sand, becomes the subject of ecstatic 
admiration? 

Indeed, such freedom in the choice of love is an impossibility in 
bourgeois society. This fact was the objective point in our preceding 
array of evidence. But place the whole community under social conditions 
similar to those enjoyed by the material and intellectual elect, and 
forthwith the opportunity is there of equal rights and freedom for all. 
In "Jacques," George Sand depicts a husband who judges the adulterous 
relations of his wife with another man in these words: "No human being 
can command love; and none is guilty if he feels, or goes without it. 
What degrades the woman is the lie: what constitutes her adultery is not 
the hour that she grants to her lover, but the night that she thereupon 
spends with her husband." Thanks to this view of the matter, Jacques 
feels obliged to yield the place to his rival, Borel, and he proceeds to 
philosophize: "Borel, in my place, would have quietly beaten his wife, 
and perhaps would not have blushed to receive her afterwards into his 
bed, debased by his blows and his kisses. There are men who cut the 
throat of an unfaithful wife without ceremony, after the fashion of the 
Orientals, because they consider her as legal property. Others fight 
with their rival, kill him or drive him away, and again seek the kisses 
of the woman they pretend to love, and who shrinks from them with 
horror, or resigns herself in despair. These, in cases of conjugal love, 
are the most common ways of acting, and I say that the love of the hogs 
is less vile and less gross than that of these men." Commenting on these 
passages, Brandes observes: "These truths, which are considered 
elemental with our cultured classes, were 'sophisms that cried to 
heaven' only fifty years ago." But the "property and cultured world" 
dare not to this day openly avow the principles of George Sand, 
although, in point of fact, it lives up to them in the main. As in 

322 



morality and religion, the bourgeois is a hypocrite in marriage also. 

What Goethe and George Sand did, has been done and continues to be done 
by thousands of others, who are not to be compared with Goethe, yet 
without in the least losing the esteem and respect of society. All that 
is needed is a respectable position, the rest comes of itself. All this 
notwithstanding, the liberties of a Goethe and a George Sand are 
improper, judged from the standpoint of bourgeois morality, and stand in 
contradiction with the nature of its social principles. Compulsory 
marriage is the normal marriage of bourgeois society: it is the only 
"moral" union of the sexes: all other sexual union, by whomsoever 
entered into, is immoral. Bourgeois marriage— we have proved the point 
beyond cavil— is the result of bourgeois property relations. This 
marriage, which is intimately related with private property and the 
right of inheritance— demands "legitimate" children as heirs: it is 
entered into for the purpose of acquiring these: under the pressure of 
social conditions, it is forced even upon those who have nothing to 
bequeath: 225 it becomes a social law r , the violation of which the state 
punishes by imprisoning for a term of years the men or women who live in 
adultery and have been divorced. 

In future society there is nothing to bequeath, unless the domestic 
equipment and personal inventory be regarded as inheritance: the modern 
form of marriage is thus devoid of foundation and collapses. The 
question of inheritance is thereby solved, and Socialism need not 
concern itself about abolishing the same. No right of inheritance can 
arise where there is no private property. 

Woman is, accordingly, free, and her children, where she has any, do not 
impair her freedom: they can only fill all the fuller the cup of her 
enjoyments and her pleasure in life. Nurses, teachers, female friends, 
the rising female generations— all these are ready at hand to help the 
mother when she needs help. 

It is possible that there may be men in the future who will say with 
Alexander von Humboldt: "I am not built for the father of a family. 
Moreover, I consider marriage a sin, and the begetting of children a 
crime." What of it? The pow r er of natural instincts will restore the 
equilibrium. We are alarmed neither by a Humboldt's hostility to 
marriage nor by the philosophic pessimism of a Schopenhauer, a 
Mainlaender or a v. Hartmann, who raise to man the prospect of 
self-destruction in the "ideal state." In this matter w r e hold with Fr. 
Ratzel, who justly says: 

"Man may no longer look upon himself as an exception to the law r s of 
nature; he should rather begin at last to ascertain the law r that 
underlies his own acts and thoughts, and to endeavor to live his life 

323 



according to die laws of nature. He will arrive at the point when he 
will arrange his social life with his fellows, that is, his family and 
the state, not after the precepts of far-back centuries, but after the 
rational principles of natural sense. Politics, morals, principles of 
justice— all of which are at present fed from all possible sources— will 
be determined according to the laws of nature alone. An existence worthy 
of human beings, dreamed of for thousands of years, will finally become 
reality." 226 

That day is approaching with giant strides. Human society has traversed, 
in the course of thousands of years, all the various phases of 
development, to arrive in the end where it started from,— communistic 
property and complete equality and fraternity, but no longer among 
[the members of one class] alone, but among the whole human race. 
[Great progress consists in that fact.] What bourgeois society has vainly 
striven for, and at which it suffers and is bound to suffer shipwreck— 
the restoration of freedom, equality and fraternity among men— Socialism 
will accomplish. Bourgeois society could only set up the theory; here as 
as in so many other respects, their practice was at odds with their theories. 
It is for Socialism to harmonize the theory with the practice. 

Nevertheless, while man returns to the starting point in his 
development, the return is effected upon an infinitely higher social 
plane than that from which he started. Primitive society held property 
in common in the gens and clan, but only in the rawest and most 
undeveloped stage. The process of development that took place since, 
reduced, it is true, the common property to a small and insignificant 
vestige, broke up the gentes, and finally atomized the whole of society; 
but, simultaneously, it raised mightily the productivity of that society 
in its various phases and the manifoldness of social necessities, and it 
created out of the gentes and tribes nations and great states, although 
again it produced a condition of things that stood in violent 
contradiction with social requirements. The task of the future is to end 
the contradiction by the re-transformation upon the broadest basis, of 
property and productive powers into collective property. 

Society re-takes what once was its own, but, in accord with the newly 
created conditions of production, it places its whole mode of life upon 
the highest stage of culture, which enables all to enjoy what under more 
primitive circumstances was the privilege of individuals or of 
individual classes only. 

Now woman again fills the active role that once was hers in primitive 
society. She does not become the mistress, she is the equal of man. 

"The end of social development resembles the beginning of human 
existence. The original equality returns. The mother-web of existence 

324 



starts and rounds up the cycle of human affairs"— thus writes Bachofen, 
in his frequently quoted work "Das Mutterrecht," forecasting coming 
events. Like Bachofen, Morgan also passes judgment upon bourgeois 
society, a judgment that, without his having any particular information 
on Socialism, coincides essentially with our own. He says: 

"Since the advent of civilization, the outgrowth of property has been so 
immense, its forms so diversified, its uses so expanding and its 
management so intelligent in the interests of its owners, that it has 
become, on the part of the people, an unmanageable power. The human 
mind stands bewildered in the presence of its own creation. The time 
will come, nevertheless, whien human intelligence will rise to the 
mastery over property, and define the relations of the state to the 
property it protects, as w r ell as the obligations and the limits of the 
rights of its owners. The interests of society are paiamount to 
individual interests, and the two must be brought into just and 
haimonious relations. A mere property career is not the final destiny 
of mankind, if progress is to be the law r of the future as it has been of 
the past. The time which has passed aw r ay since civilization began is but 
a fragment of the past duration of man's existence; and but a fragment 
of the ages yet to come. The dissolution of society bids fair to become 
the termination of a caieer of wliich property is the end and aim; 
because such a caieer contains the elements of self-destruction. 
Democracy in government, brotherhood in society, equality in rights and 
privileges, and universal education, foreshadow the next higher plane of 
society to wliich experience, intelligence and knowledge aie steadily 
tending It will be a revival, in a higher form, of the liberty, 
equality and fraternity of the ancient gentes." 22 ' 

Thus we see how men, proceeding from different starting-points, are 
guided by their scientific investigations to the identical conclusions. 
The complete emancipation of woman, and her equality with man is the 
final goal of our social development, whiose realization no power on 
earth can prevent;— and this realization is possible only by a social 
change that shall abolish the rule of man over man— hence also of 
capitalists over workingmen. Only then will the human race reach its 
highest development. The "Golden Age" that man has been dreaming of for 
thousands of years, and after whiich he has been longing, will have come 
at last. Class rule will have reached its end for all time, and, along 
with it, the rule of man over woman. 



325 



PART IV 
INTERNATIONALITY 



326 



INTERNATIONALIST. 

In the veiy nature of things, an existence worthy of human beings can 
never be the exclusive possession of a single privileged people. 
Isolated from all others, no nation could either raise or keep up such 
an establishment. The development that we have reached is the product of 
the co-operation of national and international forces and relations. 
Although with many the national idea still wholly sways the mind, and 
subserves the purpose of maintaining political and social dominations, 
possible only within national boundaries, the human race has reached far 
into internationalism. 

Treaties of commerce, of tariffs and of shipping, postal unions, 
international expositions, conventions on international law and on 
international systems of measurement, international scientific 
congresses and associations, international expeditions of discovery, our 
trade and intercommunication, especially the international congresses of 
workingmen, who are the carriers of the new social order and to whose 
moral influence was mainly due the international congress for factory 
legislation in the interest of the workingmen, assembled in Berlin in 
the spring of 1890 upon the invitation of the German Empire,— these and 
many other phenomena testify to the international character that, 
despite national demarcations, the relations between the various 
civilized nations have assumed. National boundary lines are being broken 
through. The term "world's economy" is taking the place of "national 
economy": an increasing significance is attaching to it, seeing that 
upon it depends the well-being and prosperity of individual nations. A 
large part of our own products is exchanged for those of foreign 
nations, without which we could no longer exist. As one branch of 
industry is injured when another suffers, so likewise does the 
production of one nation suffer materially when that of another is 
paralyzed. Despite all such transitory disturbances as wars and race 
persecutions, the relations of the several nations draw ever closer, 
because material interests, the strongest of all, dominate them. Each 
new highway, every improvement in the means of intercommunication, every 
invention or improvement in the process of production, whereby goods are 
made cheaper, strengthens these relations. The ease with which personal 
contact can be established between distantly located countries and 
peoples is a new and powerful link in the chain that draws and holds the 
nations together. Emigrations and colonizations are additional and 
powerful levers. One people learns from the other. Each seeks to excel. 
Along with the interchange of material products, the interchange of the 
products of the mind is going on, in the original tongue as well as in 
translations. To millions the learning of foreign living languages 
becomes a necessity. Next to material advantages, nothing contributes 
more towards removing antipathies than to penetrate into the language 
and the intellectual products of a foreign people. 

327 



The effect of this process of drawing together, that is going on upon an 
international scale, is that the several nations are resembling one 
another ever more in their social conditions. With the most advanced, 
and therefore pace-setting nations, the resemblance is now such that he 
who has learned to understand the social structure of one, likewise 
knows that of all the others in essentials. It happens similarly as in 
nature where, among animals of the same species the skeleton formation 
and organization is the same, and, if in possession of a part of such a 
skeleton, one can theoretically construct the whole animal. 

A further result is this, that where the same social foundations are 
found, their effects must be the same— the accumulation of vast wealth, 
and its opposite pole of mass-poverty, wage-slavery, dependence of the 
masses upon the machinery of production, their domination by the 
property-holding minority, and the rest of the long train of 
consequences. 

Indeed, we see that the class antagonisms and the class struggles, that 
rage throughout Germany, equally keep all Europe, the United States, 
Australia, etc., in commotion. In Europe, from Russia across to 
Portugal, from the Balkans, Hungary and Italy across to England and 
Ireland, the same spirit of discontent is prevalent, the identical 
symptoms of social fermentation, of general apprehension and of 
decomposition are noticeable. Externally unlike, according to the degree 
of development, the character of the people and their political 
organization, these movements are all essentially alike. Deep-reaching 
social antagonisms are their cause. Every year these antagonisms become 
more pronounced, the fermentation and discontent sinks deeper and 
spreads wider, until finally some provocation, possibly insignificant in 
seeming, brings on the explosion, that then spreads like lightning 
throughout the civilized world, and calls upon the people to take 
sides— pro or con. 

The battle is then on between new and old society. Masses of people step 
upon the stage; an abundance of intelligence is enlisted, such as the 
world never before saw engaged in any contest, and never again will see 
gathered for such a purpose. It is the last social struggle of all. 
Standing at the elevation of this century, the sight is obvious of the 
steady coming to a head of the forces for the struggle in which the new 
ideas will triumph. 

The new social system will then rear itself upon an international basis. 
The peoples will fraternize; they will reach one another the hand, and 
they will endeavor to gradually extend the new conditions over all the 
races of the earth. 228 No people any longer approaches another as an 
enemy, bent upon oppression and exploitation; or as the representative 

328 



of a strange creed that it seeks to impose upon others;— they will meet 
one another as friends, who seek to raise all human beings to the height 
of civilization. The labors of the new social order in its work of 
colonization and civilization will differ as essentially in both purpose 
and method from the present, as the two social orders are essentially 
different from each other. Neither powder nor lead, neither "firewater" 
(liquor) nor Bible will be used. The task of civilization is entered 
upon with the instruments of peace, which will present the civilizers to 
the savages, not as enemies, but as benefactors. Intelligent travelers 
and investigators have long learned to know how successful is that path. 

When the civilized peoples shall have reached the point of joining in a 
large federation, the time will have come when for evermore the storms 
of war shall have been lain. Perpetual peace is no dream, as the 
gentlemen who strut about in uniforms seek to make people believe. That 
day shall have come the moment the peoples shall have understood their 
true interests: these are not promoted by war and dissension, by 
armaments that bear down whole nations; they are promoted by peaceful, 
mutual understandings, and jointly laboring in the path of civilization. 
Moreover, as was shown [above], the ruling classes and their 
governments are seeing to it that the military armaments and wars break 
their own backs by their own immensity. Thus the last weapons will 
wander into the museums of antiquity, as so many of their predecessors 
have done before, and serve as witnesses to future generations of the 
manner in which the generations gone by have for thousands of years 
frequently torn up one another like wild animals— until finally the 
human in them triumphed over the beast. 

National peculiarities are everywhere nourished by the ruling classes in 

order that, at a given conjuncture, a great war may furnish a drainage 

for dangerous tendencies at home. As a proof of the extent to which 

these national peculiarities engender w r ars, an utterance of the late 

Field Marshal Moltke may here be quoted. In the last volume of 

his posthumous w r ork, which deals with the German-French w r ar of 1870-71, 

this passage occurs among others in the introductory observations: 

"So long as nations lead separate existences there will be dissensions 
that only [weapons] can [mediate] . But in the interest of humanity 
it is to be hoped that w r ars may become as much rarer as they have become 
more fearful." 

Now r then, this national separate existence, that is, the hostile 
shutting off of one nation from another, will vanish. Thus future 
generations will be able to achieve without trouble tasks that gifted 
heads have long conceived, and unsuccessfully attempted to accomplish. 
Condorcet, among others, conceived the idea of an international 
language. The late Ulysses S. Grant, ex-President of the United States, 

329 



uttered himself this wise on a public occasion: "Seeing that commerce, 
education and the rapid exchange of thought and of goods by telegraphy 
and steam have altered everything, I believe that God is preparing the 
world to become one nation, to speak one language and to reach a state 
of perfection in which armies and navies will no longer be needed." It 
is natural that with a full-blooded Yankee the leading role be played 
by the "dear God," who, after all, is but the product of historic 
development. Hypocrisy, or perhaps also ignorance in matters that 
concern religion, is nowhere as stupendous as in the United States. The 
less the power of the state presses upon the masses, [the more work 
religion must do] . Hence the phenomenon that the bourgeoisie is most 
pious wherever the power of the state is laxest. Next to the United 
States, come England, Belgium and Switzerland in this matter. Even the 
revolutionary Robespierre, who played with the heads of aristocrats and 
priests as with nine-pin balls, was, as is known, very religious, whence 
he ceremoniously introduced the "Supreme Being," which shortly before 
had, with equal bad taste, been dethroned by the Convention. And seeing 
that the frivolous and idle aristocrats of France had been greatly 
bragging about their atheism, Robespierre regarded atheism as 
aristocratic, and denounced it in his speech to the Convention on the 
"Supreme Being" with these w r ords: "Atheism is aristocratic. The idea of 
a Supreme Being, that w r atches over oppressed innocence and punishes 
triumphant crime, comes from the people. If there were no God, one w r ould 
have to be invented." The virtuous Robespierre had his misgivings 
concerning the pow r er of his virtuous republic to cancel the existing 
social antagonisms, hence his belief in a Supreme Being that wreaks 
vengeance and seeks to smooth the difficulties that the people of his 
time were unable to smooth. Hence such a belief [w r as also] a necessity to 
the first republic. 

One step in progress will bring another. Mankind will ever set new r 
tasks to itself, and the accomplishment of the same will lead it to such 
a degree of social development that w r ars, religious quarrels and similar 
manifestations of barbarism will be unknown. 



330 



PARTV 

POPULATION and OVER-POPULATION 



331 



POPULATION AND OVER-POPULATION 

It has become quite fashionable with people who occupy themselves with 
the social question to consider the question of population as the most 
important and burning of all. They claim that we are threatened with 
"over-population;" aye, that the danger is upon us. This, more than any 
other division of the Social Question, must be treated from an 
international standpoint. The feeding and the distribution of the people 
have pre-eminently become international issues of fact. Since Malthus, 
the law underlying the increase of population has been the subject of 
extensive dispute. In his celebrated and now notorious "Essay on the 
Principles of Population," which Marx has characterized as a 
"school-boyish, superficial and pulpiteer piece of declamatory 
plagiarism on Sir James Stew r art, Townsend, Franklin, Wallace and others" 
and which "contains not one original sentence," Malthus lays down the 
proposition that mankind has the tendency to increase in geometric 
progression (1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, etc.), while food could increase only 
in arithmetic progression (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, etc.); and that the 
consequence is a rapid disproportion between the numbers of the 
population and the supply of food, that inevitably leads to w r ant and 
starvation. The final conclusion w r as the necessity of "abstinence" in 
the procreation of children, and abstinence from marriage without 
sufficient means for the support of a family, contrariwise there w r ould 
be no place at "the banquet table of nature" for the descendants. 

The fear of over-population is very old. It w r as touched upon in this 
w r ork in connection with the social conditions of the Greeks and Romans, 
and at the close of the Middle Ages. Plato and Aristotle, the Romans, 
the small bourgeois of the Middle Ages were all sw r ayed by it, and it 
even swayed Voltaire, wiio, in the first quarter of the eighteenth 
century, published a treatise on the subject. The fear ever turns up 
again— this circumstance must be emphasized— at periods when the 
existing social conditions are disintegrating and breaking down. The 
privation and discontent [seen on all sides at such periods] are forth- 
with ascribed to [a dearth] of food, instead of to the manner in which 
the existing supply is distributed. 

All advanced social stages have hitherto rested upon class-rule, and the 
principal means of class-rule w r as the appropriation of the land. The 
land gradually slips from the hands of a large number of proprietors 
into those of a small number that utilize and cultivate it only 
partially. The large majority are rendered propertyless and are stripped 
of the means of existence; their share of food then depends upon the 
good will of their masters, for wiiom they now have to work. According to 
the social condition of things, the struggle for the land took its form 
from period to period; the end, however, was that the land continued 
steadily to concentrate in the hands of the ruling class. If undeveloped 

332 



means of transportation or political isolation impede [a community's] 
intercourse abroad and interfere with the importation of food when 
the crops fail and provisions are dear, the belief springs up [forthwith] 
that there are too many people. Under such circumstances, every increase 
in the family is felt as a burden; the specter of over-population rises; 
and the terror that it spreads is in direct proportion to the 
concentration of the land in few hands, together with its train of 
evils— the partial cultivation of the soil, and its being turned to 
purposes of pleasure for its owners. Rome and Italy were poorest off for 
food at the time when the whole soil of Italy w r as held by about 3,000 
latifimdia owners. Hence the cry: "The latifimdia are ruining Rome!" The 
soil w r as converted into vast hunting-grounds and w r onderful 
pleasure-gardens; not infrequently it was allowed to be idle, seeing 
that its cultivation, even by slaves, came out dearer to the magnates 
than the grain imported from Sicily and Africa. It was a state of things 
that opened wide the doors for usury in grain, a practice in which the 
rich nobility likewise led. In consideration of this usury of grain the 
domestic soil w r as kept from cultivation. Thereupon the impoverished 
Roman citizen and the impoverished aristocracy resolved to renounce 
marriage and the begetting of children; hence the law r s placing premiums 
on marriage and children in order to check the steady decrease of the 
ruling classes. 

The same phenomenon appeared towards the close of the Middle Ages, after 
the nobility and clergy had, in the course of centuries and with the aid 
of all the crafty and violent means at their command, robbed unnumbered 
peasants of their property and appropriated the common lands to 
themselves. When, thereupon, the peasants revolted and w r ere beaten down, 
the robber-trade gained new r impetus, and it w r as then also practiced upon 
the Church estates by the Princes of the Reformation. The number of 
thieves, beggars and vagabonds was never larger than immediately before 
and after the Reformation. The expropriated rural population rushed to 
the cities; but there, [because of] causes that have been described in 
previous pages, the conditions of life w r ere likewise 
deteriorating,— hence "over-population" w r as felt all around. 

The appearance of Malthus coincides with that period of English industry 

when, [because of] the inventions of Hargreaves, Arkwright and Watt, powerful 

changes set in both in mechanism and technique, changes that affected, 

first of all, the cotton and linen industries, and rendered breadless 

the workingmen engaged in them. The concentration of capital and land 

assumed at the time large proportions in England: along with the rapid 

increase of w r ealth, on the one hand, there w r ent the deepening misery of 

the masses, on the other. At such a juncture, the ruling classes, who 

have every reason to consider the existing w r orld the "best of all 

possible w r orlds," w r ere bound to seek an explanation for so contradictory 

a phenomenon as the pauperization of the masses in the midst of swelling 

333 



wealth and flourishing industry. Nothing was easier than to throw the 
blame upon the too-rapid procreation of the workingnien, and not upon 
their having been rendered superfluous through the capitalist process of 
production, and the accumulation of the soil in the hands of landlords. 
With such circumstances for its setting, the "school-boyish, superficial 
and pulpiteer piece of declamatory plagiarism," that Malthus published, 
was a work that gave drastic utterance to the secret thoughts and wishes 
of the ruling class, and justified their misdeeds to the world. Hence 
the loud applause that it met from one side, and violent opposition from 
another. Malthus had spoken the right word at the right time for the 
English bourgeoisie; hence, although his essay "contained not one 
original sentence," he became a great and celebrated man, and his name a 
synonym for the doctrine. 229 

Now, then, the conditions that caused Malthus thus to give his signal of 
alarm and proclaim his brutal doctrine— he addressed it to the working 
class, thus adding insult to injury— have since grown worse from decade 
to decade. They have grown worse, not alone in the fatherland of 
Malthus, Great Britain, but in all the countries of the world rim by the 
capitalist system of production, whose consequences ever are the robbery 
of the soil and the dependence and subjugation of the masses through 
machinery and the factory. This system consists, as has been shown, in 
the separation of the workingman from his means of production— be these 
land or tools— and in the transfer of the latter to the capitalist 
class. That system produces ever new branches of industry, develops and 
concentrates them, and thereby throws ever larger masses of the people 
upon the street as "superfluous." In the field of agriculture it 
promotes, as the Rome of old, the latifundia ownership with all its 
[consequences] . Ireland, in this respect the classic land of Europe, and 
afflicted worst of all by the English system of land-grabbing, had in 
1887 an area of 884.4 square miies of meadow and pasture land, but only 
263.3 square miles of agricultural fields and the conversion of 
agricultural fields into meadows and pastures for sheep and cattle and 
into hunting grounds for the landlords makes [further strides every year]. 230 

Moreover the agricultural fields of Ireland are, in great measure, in 
the hands of a large number of small tenants, who are not able to 
cultivate the land in the most profitable manner. Thus Ireland presents 
the aspect of a country that is retrogressing from an agricultural into 
a pastoral condition. The population, that at the beginning of the 
nineteenth century was over eight million strong, has declined to about 
five million, and still several millions are "in excess." Ireland's 
normal state of rebellion against England is thus easily explained; and 
yet the struggle of the "Home Ruler" aims only at the creation of an 
Irish landlord class and no wise carries the wished-for deliverance to 
the mass of the Irish people. The Irish people will perceive that so 
soon as the Home Ruler shall carry out his plans. Scotland presents a 

334 



picture similar to that of Ireland with regard to the ownership and 
cultivation of its soil. 231 

A similar development reappears in Hungary, a country that entered upon 

the modern field of development only recently. Hungary, a land in point 

of the fertility of her soil, as rich as few in Europe, is overloaded 

with debt, and her population, pauperized and in the hands of usurers, 

[experiences emigration] in large numbers. Hungary's soil is now concentrated in the 

hands of modern capitalist magnates, who cany on a ruinous system of 

cultivation in forest and field so that Hungary is not far from the 

time when it will have ceased to be a grain exporting country. It is 

quite [similar] with Italy. In Italy, just as in Germany, the political 

unity of the nation has taken capitalist development powerfully under 

the arm; but the thrifty peasants of Piedmont and Lombardy, of Tuscany, 

Romagna and Sicily are ever more impoverished and go to ruin. Sw r amps and 

moors are reappearing on the sites occupied but recently by the well 

cultivated gardens and fields of small peasants. Before the very gates 

of Rome, in the so-called Campagna, a hundred thousand hectares of land 

lie fallow^ in a region that once w r as the "garden of Rome." Sw r amps cover 

the ground, and exhale their poisonous miasmas. If, with the application 

of the proper means the Campagna w r ere thoroughly chained and properly 

irrigated, the population of Rome w r ould have a fertile source of food. 

But Italy suffers [from] the ambition to become a "leading pow r er:" she is 

ruining herself with military and naval armaments and with African 

colonization plans, and, consequently, has no funds left for such tasks 

as the reclaiming of the Campagna for cultivation. And as [with] the Campagna, 

so [with the] South Italy and particularly Sicily. The latter, once the granary 

of Rome, sinks ever more into deepening poverty. There is no more 

sucked-out, poverty-stricken and maltreated people in all Europe than 

the Sicilian. The easily-contented sons of the most beautiful region of 

all Europe overrun half Europe and the